Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bamboo in new BILT containers

Yesterday, I braved the rain and some hail (tiny Sacramento-sized hail) to finally get my Phylostachys nigra  'Black Bamboo' in my green BILT container.  I had these custom made as bamboo containers as they are made with mostly recycled steel and they come in some really unique, cool colors.

The containers are designed and built by Jeffrey Dodd (pictured above).  The containers that Jeff builds are usually on a smaller scale, but he was very accommodating and took on my request to build larger custom containers that can hold bamboo. The problem these containers solve is that, unlike a ceramic pot, these containers will never break or crack under the pressure of a woody bamboo rhizome mass.  Jeff, like me, is obsessed with plants and is a self-described collector.  He began designing plant containers in the early 90's as a student at Cal Berkeley.  Jeff also has an appreciation for color and structure and used his skills in metal-working to come up with a beautiful line of plant containers.

Needless to say, I was quite excited when my two metal containers arrived a few weeks ago.  So, Saturday I finally got the planting area prepared for the 'Black Bamboo'.  Originally, I had two clumping bamboo in the space.  One, a Bambusa multiplex 'Alphonse Midori' grew in a wide 'V' shape and wasn't upright like I expected, so I took it out.  The other plant, a Thamnocalamus tesselatus, a South African bamboo, didn't take too well to the sunny spot I had it in, so I also removed it.  I never really had a good demonstration of 'Black Bamboo' for my customers to see, so it was logical to use my new rectangle green BILT container as I felt it offered a great color contrast and presents the bamboo plant very well.

I did alot of prepping to make sure that no errant rhizomes escape, so I laid down some 24 inch rhizome barrier down first, then placed some $1 pavers on top.  This was especially important since the 'Black Bamboo', a running bamboo, is close to a lot line and don't want it running into my neighbor's property.  Probably overkill, but it gives my wife and I a sense of relief.

After some moving the plants around to get that perfect angle and some dirty hands, voila, it's in and it looks great!

So today (Sunday), it was time to finish the job and plant my Semiarundaria yashadake kimmei, a beautiful running bamboo that is yellow with green stripes but gets a beautiful dark deep red-purple on the culms when exposed to the sun.  I thought this was a perfect choice for the red square BILT container.  Using the same preparation as the day before, it's now sitting happily in its new home.

These containers look modern, stylish and they are very practical.  If your interested in learning more about these 'bamboo-sized' containers, give me a call or shoot me an e-mail.

Hard work, but I feel a sense of accomplishment and now have some beautiful containers to show off my beautiful bamboo.


Mad Mad Bamboo
(916) 300-6335
Mad Man Bamboo on Facebook
Twitter: @madmanbamboo


Francesca P said...

Love the containers, what a great idea!

Alan said...

Sean -- are those bottomless containers? Do they have large drainage holes? Trying to understand the reason for the rhizome barrier and pavers.

Very nice containers. =)

katie said...

These containers are great looking! May I be so bold as to ask the yucky question: how much did they cost?

Mad Man Bamboo Nursery said...

Francesca - Thanks!

Alan - Admittedly its complete and utter overkill. Because it is so close to a neighbor's yard, my wife was OK with the plant being placed there if it was on pavers with rhizome barrier on the bottom. The containers are slats of metal, not large enough for rhizomes to go through. But she's happy with it and all is good. We know its overkill - but I got to place it there on that compromise.

Katie - They are more expensive that the average container that size, but I feel the design (look) and the durability makes it worth the extra cost. I'd be happy to e-mail pricing if your curious.