Saturday, March 24, 2012

Beautiful miniature bamboo sighting in Midtown Sacramento...

I always love discovering bamboo used correctly and where it shows off beautifully.  Today, I was walking along K Street, somewhere near 24th Street in Midtown Sacramento, and stumbled upon some Plieoblastus viridistriatus 'Chrysophyllus', a 3 foot miniature bamboo that is a pretty aggressive runner (not suggested for planting in the open ground, but great in a patio container).  Here is 'Chrysophyllus' planted in an enclosed planter in front of a business.  Perfect spot for this type of bamboo.

Since it is now spring, the fresh new leaves, with its bright lime-yellow coloring, are really shining.  Always a nice thing to see...

Mad Man Bamboo
(916) 300-6335
Twitter | Facebook

Friday, March 23, 2012

Awakening from a long winter slumber - running bamboo is now shooting...

For a couple of weeks now, I have spent several strolls through my garden with a keen eye on new bamboo shoots popping out of the ground from my running bamboo plants.  Until today, I strolled back in the house a bit disappointed, but still hopeful that it would only be a few more days until I see those beautiful bamboo shoots poking out of the ground, showing awakening from the long, cold winter slumber.

The way bamboo works is - running bamboo shoots in the Spring (March through June) and clumping bamboo shoots in the Summer (late July through mid-October).  So these times are particularly exciting for a 'bamboo geek' like me.

Today, sure enough, I saw this, which put a smile on my face and I found myself gawking at it:

This is Phylostachys nigra 'Black Bamboo'.  A running bamboo that shoots bright green and turns black over a year and a half.  This was the first shoot I discovered this season.

This is one of my favorite running bamboos - Phylostachys bissetti.  Tough as nails (takes high wind and minus 10 degrees), beautiful with lush green foliage and it is fast growing.  I got a glimpse of several shoots like the one pictured above peeking out of the ground.

Yes, I am a 'bamboo geek', finding these little garden surprises makes my heart go pitter-patter; and, this is just the beginning, more shoots are working their way up through the soil to the warm Spring sun.  Can't wait...

Mad Man Bamboo
(916) 300-6335
Twitter | Facebook

Watch us on DIY Network's Yard Crashers on April 2

New update on Yard Crashers: The show, Season 7 premier, I participated in will air Monday, April 2nd on the DIY Network. Please check local listings for time. I plan on sharing photos of the project after the episode airs on this blog and also my Facebook page. Also will have the video linked as well when it posts on the DIY Network website. Looking forward to seeing it!

Mad Man Bamboo
(916) 300-6335

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bloom Tour at Rice River Ranch

Last Sunday, my family and I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 Rice River Ranch Bloom Tour and BBQ. This is a family owned farm, managed by Tom and Jeanette Rice. Tom and Jeanette grow a wide variety of stone fruit (nectarines, peaches, prunes and many more) on their 16 acre farm in Arboga, California (just south of Marysville, CA, near the Feather River). The farm started around 2001 when Tom left his 'cubicle job' for a life in farming with Jeanette.  Jeanette has been around farming for most of her life with her family being in farming in the area since 1955.

The Rice's exhibit the best that California farming is all about. They are a regular at Placer County Farmers Markets and we had the pleasure of being a fellow vendor with them in the 2011 Farmers' Market in Rocklin (which we hope to repeat in 2012).

We had a great time touring the farm and having a great lunch, and it was especially gratifying to see our youngest daughter make the farm to food connection. In fact, she made the statement that she wanted to return in the Summer to help Tom and Jeanette pick peaches off the trees. Guess it really made a good impression.

So, here are some photos of what we saw on the farm tour:

Nectarine blooms

Jeanette showing us the small fruit in the bloom.

The view of the farm from the river levee (behind me was the Feather River).  In the foreground is are the yellow flowers of the Wild Mustard plant.

Blooms on a Plum tree.

Tom and Jeanette. They live and breathe farming, they love the land, love their trees and it shows in the wonderful fruit they sell at Farmers' Markets in Placer County and beyond.  

Its through the hard work of people like Tom and Jeanette that we get wonderful, fresh California produce.  Many take this for granted, many more have no connection to farming and where their food actually comes from (other than the supermarket), but today's tour reaffirmed my appreciation for our local farmers and why California is still a special place to live.

Mad Man Bamboo Nursery - Rocklin, CA
(916) 300-6335

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Amazing bamboo photography by Nate Abbott

In the bamboo community, which spans the world, it's a unique group of people - some are into the scientific aspects of bamboo, some love to work with bamboo to make furniture, art or structures, others love to farm bamboo as a food and timber source. There are many that love bamboo for its sheer beauty and uniqueness in the plant world.

In this post, I want to show the fine photography of Nate Abbott, a fellow bamboo aficionado and photographer from Utah.

Nate Abbott
As Nate said in a interview by e-mail, "Living in the high desert of Utah presents it's share of obstacles to creating a lush oasis."  Many people would never imagine bamboo growing in a arid, cold climate such as Utah.  Abbott added that, "My favorite bamboos are from the Fargesia genus, the reason being their clumping habit, hardiness, and refined beauty."

Nate's first bamboo plant was Sasaella masamuneana 'Albostriata', a beautiful, cold hardy running bamboo.

Applying a lifetime of plant knowledge from books, learning from a diehard gardening grandmother, and obtaining a B.S. in Horticulture from Utah State University. Nate Abbott began to transform his yard into a tropical paradise reminiscent of Thailand where he served an LDS mission for 2 years.

Coupled with his love of gardening and bamboo, Nate has had a passion for capturing nature's beauty for over 20 years. The passion began in high school begging to borrow his fathers old Minolta SRT 101 camera and has never stopped.

Nate has taken some very beautiful, artistic photos of bamboo that he has given his permission for me to show to you, reader of the Bamboo Geek blog:

Nate's beautiful photography can be found here - Nate's Photos and More of Nate's Photos.  Nate also has his photography available in high quality prints and posters - more information.  Note that I am not receiving any compensation from Nate for this post.  I just love his work and hopefully you do too.  He captures the beauty and peace that comes from bamboo perfectly through his photography.


Mad Man Bamboo - Rocklin, CA
(916) 300-6335
Facebook | Twitter