Ice and Bamboo

The ice of last weekend is just a memory -- temperatures are in the 50's and 60's now, too warm -- but I wanted to still share with you what those of us whose gardens are built around bamboos see.


It's not pretty, but it's mostly harmless and temporary. Lots of painful looking bending.


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I'll start with the Yellow Groove (Phyllostachys aureosulcata) bamboo that's on the south side of the house, just off the deck.

Shot through kitchen window and screen. 

It's bent to the ground...


...forming a nice little cave!


Not that I crawled in there, but if we had gotten a nice heavy snow after the ice I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to resist.

Looking up at the roof of arched culms


The Phyllostachys atrovaginata right next to it doesn't look so severely affected:


And it's not. Those thick culms are still quite flexible!


A few years back when I went through this for the first time I was panicked. My bamboos are in distress, I must help them somehow!

I've learned now that there's really no reason to do anything. Not that there's anything you can do.


The fact that they'd be iced over for only a day or so because of rising temps in the forecast helped me relax too.


The worst part of it is how ragged the winter garden looks. Here's my favorite, Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Aureocauis', seen from the driveway:


I've shown you this pretty bamboo so many times. It's not pretty like this.

From the living room window:


And from the bedroom window:


It's out of control! So split open the birds can't use it for night roosting either:


So weird seeing it like that -- so much light coming through!

Still beautiful if you get it from the right angle:


So maybe this is a good time to move on to less pretty views? The two bamboos in the northeast corner (near the pond) are just a mess:


The tree held some of the culms upright, otherwise the whole thing would be down.

The Phyllostachys nigra isn't looking so great either:


Although it loves to droop, so maybe this feel right to it?

I'm not even sure where I took this one:


I think that's the Phyllostachys virella growing in a box near the stream, with the 'Aureocaulis' behind it. It's not a good sign when you can't even recognize your own garden.

There is some beauty around still though:




After a day or two the ice melted. It didn't seem to do any permanent damage, other than a few wayward culms that didn't pop back up. I'll do a more complete look around this weekend and show you next week.

Please, no more ice this winter! We're not getting as much as other places, but even once is enough!

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Studio Maywyn  – (January 21, 2017 at 11:16 AM)  

The bamboo must be magical in ice like that.

danger garden  – (January 21, 2017 at 1:32 PM)  

My bamboo is definitely showing the effects of repeated snow and ice events (I've lost count). There will be trimming, a lot of trimming, in my future.

Rock rose  – (January 22, 2017 at 2:12 PM)  

Knowing bamboo I think it will soon be back to its normal self. But, I can appreciate how an event like that causes anxiety.

outlawgardener  – (January 23, 2017 at 8:58 AM)  

It's surprising how far bamboo can bend before it breaks. Sorry about your ice! We've escaped that so far this winter, knock wood. Hope this is the last of the ice for you!

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