Friday, July 23, 2010

A beautiful oasis in the middle of Central Valley farm land... Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture

This past weekend, on the the way to a high school reunion, I finally got a chance to visit the Clark Center for Japanese Art & Culture located a few miles south of Hanford, a central valley farm town located about 45 miles from Fresno, California.

I saw the Clark Center on Huell Howser's California's Gold on PBS. Always wanted to go and finally got a chance this weekend.

The Center has unique Japanese architecture, a exhibit hall that happened to be showing 1920's Japanese Art Decco art and outside it had a bonsai garden (with trees many decades old) as well as a view of Mr. Clark's private Japanese Garden (which is closed to the public, but can be easily seen from a distance). No bamboo, but beautiful nonetheless.

The thing that was almost surreal was that the Center was literally out in the middle of farmland, out in the middle of nowhere.

For $5 per adult, you were given a docent led tour of the art exhibit (shoes had to be taken off per Japanese tradition before entering the exhibit hall). The exhibit was really interesting, lots of art and artifacts from the 1910's, 20' and 30's (my favorite historical period coupled with a culture that I love).

If you ever find yourself near Hanford, the Clark Center is a 'must-see.' Pictured is a photo of the Japanese block print art found in the exhibit hall and the bonsai display outside.


Mad Man Bamboo
(916) 300-6335

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bamboo in Vegas... you heard right...

Ever on the lookout for bamboo in places travelled, I unexpectedly ran into bamboo in one of the hottest, driest places in the U.S., Las Vegas. Its was in the 109 to 111 degree range when I was there this past weekend.

The first picture is of a beautiful Bambusa oldhamii 'Giant Clumping Timber Bamboo'. Grows to about 40 to 45 feet. This was taken at Ceaser's Palace.

Second picture is of a hedged Bambusa multiplex 'Hedge Bamboo', a clumping bamboo that grows 15 to 20 feet tall, used for privacy. The picture was taken at the Springs Preserve, outside their sustainability exhibit building.

Wasn't expecting to see bamboo in Las Vegas, but they looked great, surprisingly enough.


Mad Man Bamboo Nursery
(916) 300-6335

Sunday, July 11, 2010

One gallon bamboo plants now available; now taking bamboo special orders for August delivery; Bamboo Open House date set for fall

One gallon bamboo plants now available!

Many clumping bamboo favorites now available in one gallon sizes.

We just received 400 one gallon bamboo plants (pictured above) and they are now for sale. This includes many popular varieties like Giant Clumping Timber Bamboo and Hedge Bamboo. We also have some unique shade clumping bamboo and some great running bamboo that works as a superior privacy hedge.

These aren't tiny either. The average Giant Clumping Timber Bamboo is 4 feet high above the pot (some are as tall as 6 feet); Hedge Bamboo and the other varieties average 4 feet high above the pot.

Bamboo for almost any budget, Giant Clumping Timber Bamboo is $13 for a one gallon plant and all other varieties are $12.

Maplestone Gardens opens for business with a selection of beautiful Japanese Maples now for sale

If you attended our last couple of events, Jim Lombard, a family friend had a nice selection of Japanese Maples and bonsai for sale. Jim has started his very own 'backyard nursery' and is now selling Japanese Maples by appointment. Jim's new business, Maplestone Gardens now has a website that is growing everyday - To get in contact with Jim, go to his website.

Now taking special orders for August delivery

Looking for that special variety or for a large amount of bamboo to create the perfect screen? We highly recommend you special order it. It doesn't cost any more to special order. We ask that you pay 50 percent up front with the balance payable upon pick-up. We highly recommend special ordering high-demand bamboo like Bambusa multiplex 'Alphonse Karr' or rare varieties; or large quantities. To place a special order, simply send us an e-mail ( with the varieties you want, the quantity of each and the size you want (5 or 15 gallon). Send us your e-mail by July 31 for August delivery.

Save the Date! Fall Bamboo Open House date is set.

We have set the date for our Bamboo Open House for the fall.

It is...

Saturday, October 16, 2010
9 am to 3 pm
5719 Jersey Drive in Rocklin

Bamboo, Japanese Maples for sale.

Mark the date on your calendar!

Also... you can make an appointment!

With the exception of July 17 and July 18, we are available by appointment on the weekends during July and August. No obligation to buy, you get a one-to-one consultation, a tour of our bamboo garden and if you want you can purchase from our large inventory of bamboo plants. Call or e-mail us to set up your appointment.




Where to find us......

Phone: (916) 300-6335




Facebook: Mad Man Bamboo Nursery Facebook Page

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Can bamboo be hedged?

Yes it can, quite easily with no impact on the plant itself. It works best on running and clumping bamboo that are naturally screening, that is thick and dense, as opposed to a tall open timber bamboo. The key is to hedge each culm above a node that is at the the desired height when the culm has fully hardened and there is no threat of freeze. For running bamboo, the best time is August/September, whereas for clumping bamboo May/June are ideal times.

Also worth noting is that when you hedge and remove top leaf growth, the bamboo plant will put it energy into generating more leaf growth and/or put its energy back into developing new shoots. This provides conditions for a denser bamboo plant that provides the desired landscaping effect, a tidy dense hedge for privacy or provide a barrier.

Pictured is a hedge of bamboo at the Japanese Tea Garden at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.


Mad Man Bamboo Nursery

Friday, July 2, 2010

Must visit place in San Francisco... Japanese Tea Garden

Literally within a short walk of the California Academy of Sciences and the De Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, a must see is the Japanese Tea Garden. If you go to either the Cal Academy or the DeYoung, spend a half hour or more in this beautiful garden full of beautiful architecture, bamboo, Japanese Maples, a working tea house, Japanese gift shop, koi pond and much, much more.

Here is an excerpt on its history:

"After the conclusion of the World's Fair, Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese immigrant and gardener, approached John McLaren with the idea to convert the temporary exhibit into a permanent park. Hagiwara personally oversaw the building of the Japanese Tea Garden and was official caretaker of the garden from 1895 to 1925. He specifically requested that one thousand flowering cherry trees be imported from Japan, as well as other native plants, birds, and the now famous goldfish. His family lived in and maintained the Japanese Tea Garden until 1942, when Executive Order 9066 forced them to leave San Francisco and relocate to an internment camp with thousands of other Japanese American families. The garden was renamed the 'Oriental Tea Garden', and the garden fell into dissaray.

In 1949, a large bronze Buddha, originally cast in Tajima, Japan in 1790, was presented to the garden by the S & G Gump Company. The name 'Japanese Tea Garden' was officially reinstated in 1952. In 1953 the Zen Garden, designed by Nagao Sakurai and representing a modern version of kare sansui (a dry garden which symbolizes a miniature mountain scene complete with a stone waterfall and small island surrounded by a gravel river) was dedicated at the same time as the 9000 lb Lantern of Peace, which was purchased by contributions from Japanese children and presented on their behalf as a symbol of friendship for future generations.

Nagao Sakurai also redesigned the area in front of Tea House."

A great place to take kids and a place that will not be forgotten after you go.