Something has been bothering me in the garden for a while, and last evening I finally did something about it. It seems to be such a little thing compared to some of the other garden tasks that need doing, but I couldn't get it out of my mind.
What was annoying me? The dead culms of my black bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra. It was topkilled two winters ago and I left the full, dead culms in place for an entire year before I trimmed them into the state you see here. They didn't get cut down completely because I like both the architectural element they add to the garden and the reminder of this plant's potential (after a couple of mild winters).
The problem though is that these dead culms look dead. They're not as attractive as I had hoped -- they're certainly not the sleek black culms that this species is known for. Here's a wider look...
...and here's a closer view:
So I spent 30 minutes yesterday improving things... I hope. What did I do?
I applied deck stain/sealer to the culms!
This was a pretty quick operation since I didn't use a brush -- I dipped a rag and was able to slide it up the culms, staining all sides at once. I did need to use the small stepladder to reach the tops of the tallest ones, but it was an easier job than I anticipated.
Before and after:
My initial plan was to use different colors of stain on some of the culms, but practicality (laziness?) won out and I just used the lightest shade I had. It lets the natural beauty of the bamboo come through I think.
Here's a comparison of untreated and treated culms:
So, was it worth the effort? I think so -- how about you?
I'm kinda wishing I had used multiple colors now...