Thursday, July 7, 2011

Awayday at Stam's Bamboo Nursery, Lismore

I spent a lovely hour at Peter Stam's bamboo nursery near Lismore today, collecting a couple of Fargesia murielae plants. Peter kindly showed me around and introduced me to various specimens I'd never seen in real life before, like Himalayan bamboo, flowering bamboo (shown left) and a really beautiful dissected elder tree (or alder... we couldn't decide the correct common name for it).
Bamboos are great but you really need to know what you're planting... some are invasive and huge, others delicate. They can be used for hedging and ground cover, and the two I got today should cope with a situation of some shade and dampness, although as Peter says in his beautiful illustrated leaflet, "Even though bamboos love moisture and humid conditions, the rhizomes and root system should not sit in water".

Peter also has some very unusual hedging and specimen architectural plants.
The bamboo collection at Kew is always worth a trip if you're in London as it lets you see them in proper large clumps, where the important of the stem colour and overall height and leaf shape is more obvious than when you see a small plant in a garden centre. has lots more useful information. But no map. I think Peter likes to be a bit private... He did say this has been the worst year since he began growing in Ireland in 1988 for weather damage to the bamboo plants, and they have produced their shoots much later than usual. Amen to that. My beautiful, beloved, pure white (not cream) arum lilies have finally bounced back after sulking for months about last winter.

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