Bamboo for Gardensby Ted Jordan Meredith, President of the American Bamboo Society (Contribution by), Susanne Lucas (Foreword by)
Bamboos evoke an exotic atmosphere wherever they are used unfortunately, they are too often kept out of our gardens for fear of their invasive qualities or lack of hardiness. In truth, these elegant grasses, encompassing both woody and herbaceous forms, can achieve dramatic yet restrained effects in a range of climates. Their uses include both the
Bamboos evoke an exotic atmosphere wherever they are used unfortunately, they are too often kept out of our gardens for fear of their invasive qualities or lack of hardiness. In truth, these elegant grasses, encompassing both woody and herbaceous forms, can achieve dramatic yet restrained effects in a range of climates. Their uses include both the ornamental, offering striking foliage and culms, and the practical, such as for screening or erosion control, not to mention the culinary treat of bamboo shoots and the structural qualities of the culm wood. Tropical and subtropical bamboos present many possibilities for landscapes in warmer climates, while the hardier species can be grown as far north as Minnesota in the United States and in the cooler climes of England and continental Europe. Bamboo culture has a long and distinguished legacy in East Asia, but much remains to be explored by Western gardeners and landscapers.
Bamboo expert Ted Jordan Meredith provides a thorough and multifaceted treatment of these ancient grasses, covering origins and history, structure and form, cultivation and propagation, landscaping, and taxonomy and identification. He offers insight into selecting the right plant for the right situation, and presents useful advice on the best methods for containing or eradicating potentially invasive forms. The bulk of the book is an encyclopedia of bamboo genera, species, and cultivars. More than 300 bamboos from 40 different genera are described in detail, including information on size, lighting and temperature requirements, native range, physical characteristics, and landscape and other uses. Meredith's excellent color photos and clear line drawings effectively illustrate both the details and broader effects of these exquisite plants.
John Van de Water
“Will help gardeners understand the practicalities as well as the aesthetics of bamboo gardening.” —New York Times Book Review
“Surely the best all-around and certainly the most up-to-date treatment of these curious grasses. . . . Both a good introduction and a worthy guide.” —American Gardener “Meredith’s approach perfectly suits this objective, with engaging personal experience illuminating comprehensive coverage of the subject at hand. The book’s attractive format opens the door to the usefulness and beauty of bamboos, presenting a vast range of possibilities to enhance a garden or landscape. Meredith’s fine resource offers clarity and enlightenment to new and experienced gardeners alike.” —Booklist “From ground covers to timber types, Ted Jordan Meredith, author of Bamboo for Gardens, knows his subject.” —Oregonian “This leading handbook in this specialized gardening subject has a catalog of innumerable kinds of bamboo with color photos, descriptions, and points of interest.” —Small Press Book Review “A wonderful reference for both the confirmed and the up-and-coming bamboo geek.” —NYBG’s Plant Talk “All interested in Bamboo should obtain this book. There is certain to be surprises in store for you. . . . It is quite simply a very good book.” —Gardening Newsletter “This is a landmark, in that a book on growing bamboo for Americans by an American has finally been written. I would not be without Bamboo for Gardens, and would recommend it to both the newcomer and expert alike—it is a required read.” —Bamboo “Bamboo for Gardens is a full treatise on bamboos and falls into the category of ‘reference book’ for gardeners—the kind of book Timber Press does so well.” —American Rhododendron Society Journal “Another winner from the folks at Timber Press. THE definitive guide to growing bamboo in American gardens, and worth every penny.” —Garden Works Online “Sufficient documentation and relevant consultation with specialists in these grasses give extra value to this publication.” —Plant Science Bulletin “This book is sure to expand your horizons as a gardener. If you live where bamboos are perennial grasses, you should have this book on your shelves.” —Suite101.com
- Timber Press, Incorporated
- Publication date:
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- 7.70(w) x 10.64(h) x 1.06(d)
Read an Excerpt
Bamboos are members of Bambusoideae, a subfamily of Poaceae. The great diversity of Bambusoideae bespeaks a long period of highly adaptive development. Bamboo forms include delicate, fernlike, tropical, herbaceous plants, perennial groundcovers, shrubs, vining climbers, and arborescent timber bamboos. For our modern world, these enduring grasses offer us great beauty and utility.
At least 90 genera and 1200 species are distributed throughout the world's temperate, tropical, and subtropical regions. A highly diverse member of the grass family, bamboos grow from sea level to high mountainous regions. Some groundcover bamboos reach a height of only a few inches and can be mowed like a lawn. At the other end of the scale are timber bamboos that live up to their name, growing like timber and forming towering forests. These giant grasses are harvestable for construction, paper pulp, and food. The uses for bamboo literally number in the thousands.
Bamboo is a principal defining element for many traditional cultures. Bamboo is shelter. It is food, and the means to acquire food. From womb to tomb, bamboo is the source of both physical and spriritual sustenance-the fiber of life.
Bamboo also offers many benefits for modern societies. Among them, bamboo is a prodigious and radpidly renewable source of fiber. Even as the world's forests and habitats rapidly decline, bamboo offers some solutions. As yet, however, this offer is largely unheard, and bamboo itself is at risk in many parts of the world, from unmanaged use by dense populations and from indiscriminate land clearing. The destruction of land and habitats in South America is most heinous. Some species have already disappeared from the face of the earth forever.
Meet the Author
Ted Jordan Meredith has written books on viticulture, enology, wine appreciation, garlic, and bamboo. His Bamboo for Gardens (Timber Press 2001) was awarded the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Literature Award and The New York Times Editor's Choice for Best Books for Gardening, and his The Complete Book of Garlic: A Guide for Gardeners, Growers, and Serious Cooks (Timber Press 2008) has become the standard reference for garlic enthusiasts.
When a housing development suddenly took away his privacy, Ted became interested in bamboo as a beautiful, rapidly growing, evergreen screen. He quickly became captivated by bamboo in all of its aspects and began to grow, research, and write about bamboo.
A native of Montana, Ted recalls the daring use of fresh garlic in the family kitchen. In later years, as his interest in cooking grew, Ted enthusiastically incorporated garlic into much of his cuisine but initially regarded garlic as a supermarket commodity with little distinction. It was at a farmer's market that he purchased a few heads of a Rocambole garlic, 'Spanish Roja'. Ted realized then that all garlic was not the same, and he never looked back, voraciously exploring a new-found world of hundreds of cultivars in nearly a dozen different horticultural groups.
Ted and his wife garden and grow bamboo at their home in Washington state. In addition to writing and photography, Ted enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, and music.
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