“There is a Monkey in my Giant Timber”

Giant Timber Bamboo (4 years old)

I have 5 Giant Timbers, all at different ages. The oldest is now 5 years old and a monster, it must be 40 feet tall with 3-4 inch diameter culms. I usually trim up the lower branches for a more architectural look, and cut down the smaller, thinner culms. New culms shoot up toward the end of the Summer at an alarming rate, then develop leaves the following season.

1st year – culm growth                                                                      2nd year – leafs grow out of the culms

As a clumper – Giant Timber is a trouper – seems to withstand cold
snaps – doesn’t seem to care if its base is in shade. In fact I have a
theory that they will grow larger if they can sense that sunlight is
available above a tree canopy. I have mine growing through 2 two
Pecans and a Post Oak. It adds great elevation as a perimeter
backdrop and obviously offers a really tropical aesthetic. The only
problem is the monkeys – this little monkey seems to have taken up
permanent residency on the lower canopy of my newly founded
‘privacy grove’ . . . ( My goal is to visually screen the house in the

Screams a lot too – I think it may be a Howler Monkey! – amazing dexterity though – makes it to the top branches in seconds!

A word of warning about Giant Timber Bamboo – it is very expensive ( for a few initial nursery ‘sad-sticks’), and it takes quite a while to become established. As for dividing an existing clump! – I did it once, and severely regretted the decision. I thought I would save a few dollars, after all, how difficult could it be to divide a clump of this stuff, – as it turns out, very difficult indeed!

I destroyed, and I mean destroyed, two shovels, one pick axe and all that is considered socially acceptable within the confines of the English language. – the root ball hated me. I tried axes, saws, tiny nail files – everything! – what I really needed was a chainsaw. I finally managed to separate three or four culms and transported the clump via my wheelbarrow to its new home. I planted it and it did grow successfully, a lot faster incidentally then any I have ever purchased at a nursery. Never again!

Other notables right now . . .

Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea (Asteraceae).

Buddleia: Butterfly Bush
Buddleia is at home in disturbed areas, such as road cuts or
new development sites. Its flowers have softened wartime
London’s bombed lots and the slag heaps of Welsh mining towns.
I have mine planted in front of a rather large Lemon-grass.

First figs developing on the tree and the first flowers on the Hollyhock

. . . and the first ripened fruit on my sad, blight-ridden tomato plants

Stay Tuned for:

“My Tomatoes are Manically Depressed”

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intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by  late  (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.


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