Do you remember that I once dug a big hole in the garden? It nearly killed me, and without assistance from my son I would likely have just lain down in it and requested that someone fill it in. Two years later that pain is forgotten, and my bamboo bed is exploding into life. Here it is September 2019.
The black-stemmed bamboo on the right, Phyllostachys nigra, has done very well since I planted it, probably tripling in size in 2020. But the Phyllostachys vivax next to it has been very stubborn, pushing up just one new and quite feeble culm last year, as if to say "yeah thanks, but could you not have dug a bigger hole?" Fast forward a year, and it is threatening to take over the world - the new culms are unbelievably fat - at least double the diameter of the existing ones, and they are growing at a stellar rate, a noticeable day on day change when I check it every morning. But I may have a problem. In a pot the canes were 'limited' to about eight feet tall, which at the time I thought was quite impressive. However given how fast these new ones are heading skywards I am actually quite worried that I could be looking at rather taller than that that. In these situations Wikipedia is your friend. Or was my friend... Here is what it says:
It is a tall, robust plant growing quickly to 26ft or more, with strong green canes to 12 cm in diameter and topped by drooping leaves. Sources vary as to the maximum size, with one source quoting 69 ft.
Excellent, excellent. 69ft. Double the height of my house. I cannot think what this is going to do for matrimonial harmony, let alone neighbourhood relations. Too late now. Anyway, here is the same bed as of about ten minutes ago. Note that the developing culms are probably bigger now.... As far as I can tell the vivax is pushing seven canes to complement the present nine, and the nigra a massive 19 to add to the 24 it already has. Chris Witty is coming round later to estimate an R number. On the plus side the bamboos show no sign of escaping from their root barrier prison. So far.....