Sunday, June 20, 2010


The list of fortunate gardeners is not a long one these days, but it occurred to me this morning that it's a really lucky gardener who lives next to a mountainside of bamboo perfectly sized for use in gardening to make stakes, lattices, trellises and, oh, large statues of Brigitte Bardot if you're of such a mind and have the time.

This is not the standard biggo kind of bamboo that you can make walls and pipes out of, this is the strong but slender kind, that for example is finely handcrafted into the world's best flyfishing rods for thousands of dollars, but I get it for free. So when I need to make a slender lattice to keep my pushy squash leaves from bullying my shy peppers, or a nice inviting ladder for my touchy cucumbers (a device of my own crafty invention that might even give the cuke-thieving monkeys a bit of well-deserved trouble), I just wade into the green whispering sea next door and select my bamboo stalks, much like Stradivari must have selected his viola woods.

The farmers down in the village have to drive all the way up here to get theirs, and small bundles of this quality item are sold for a lot more than nothing at the gardening stores in the city, where nature costs money, but I have the entire inventory right here at hand and I get it for free-- all the heights, all the thicknesses. So if you want to come and get some just let me know. Then after you cut your selection and start to trim them you can leave a few spiky branches here and there along the desired length for cucumber tendrils to cling to on their way to the sky. The climbing vegs - such as beans, squashes and cukes - naturally prefer a natural surface and don't really bond with plastic, just like human beings (there's a bit of climbing vegetable in all of us).

So this morning when I spotted my vigorizing cucumbers ignoring the plastic support poles (I left the winter snow supports in place), I went and Stradivariated several ideally sized, strengthed and lengthed stalks so as to provide the the optimal cucumber-appreciated tonal quality, and bound them into a cucumber ladder that the cukes are even now climbing like a little kid runs up a set of stairs in a new house, only slower.

I thank the bamboo grove, it just nods in return. Bamboo is so cool.


Chrissy said...

Have u been to Oahu and taken a hike thru Manoa Falls? omg.. its Hawaii's rainforest area... awesome, the bamboo is so tall that when the winds blow thru they do hit each other and make music... such a dreamlike sound...

R. Brady said...

Bamboo is full of beautiful music.