Bamboo is indigenous to China and the favorite food of the country's famous giant pandas. It is also the material of choice for everything from furniture to flooring to construction scaffolding. The abundance of bamboo, its ability to regenerate rapidly, and its durability make bamboo an ideal selection, especially outdoors.
A bamboo windbreak provides shelter from the wind for less hardy plants in the garden, as well as pleasant shade from the sun during the summer months. The flexibility of bamboo means that it can bend with the wind, and its deep and strong roots anchor the plant in the ground. Best of all, when the wind subsides, the bamboo rights itself, returning to its former stance as guardian of all it surveys. There are many varieties of bamboo that are suitable as windbreaks, but it is important to choose what will work best in individual gardens. Height, density and size are among the factors to consider when selecting the best type of bamboo for a windbreak.
Opt for bamboo garden furniture and accent pieces, from chairs, tables and benches to arbors, gazebos and planters. Bamboo is as attractive as it is durable, and most important of all, it is environmentally friendly. The manufacture of bamboo garden furniture does not involve cutting down the whole tree, as it does in the case of wood furniture. The roots of the bamboo plant remain intact in the ground, and the bamboo that has been cut above ground regenerates itself very quickly thereafter. It is a perpetual resource. Make sure though, that the bamboo furniture you buy has been properly treated so that there will not be any insect infestation.
Think about installing bamboo trellises on which to grow vines. The trellises can be store-bought or homemade to your own custom design, using bamboo poles fastened together. Climbers like clematis are great choices for a trellis. Clematis flower profusely through the seasons, often changing colors to provide the garden with grace and beauty. The orange and red trumpet-shaped flowers of the trumpet vine called Campsis grandiflora (chinensis) are one option. A climbing hydrangea (Hydrangeaceae petiolaris) with white flowers is also an attractive choice for a trellis.
Bamboo water fountains bring the soothing sounds of gently trickling water to a garden. They are available for sale in a range of sizes from tabletop models that are portable, to large-scale fountains. A bamboo water fountain is an especially welcome addition to a meditation corner of the garden, or to a garden courtyard where the entire theme could be devoted to bamboo, including bamboo plants, seating and ornaments like wind chimes.
Bamboo flooring is increasingly popular worldwide, and so are bamboo fences. Because of the many different types of bamboo that are available and its flexibility as a design material, bamboo fences can enhance almost any garden. Bamboo is available in black, green and other colors and a myriad of interesting and creative fence styles.