Years ago on a regular trips to the Mt Cootha botanical gardens, my kids and I often followed a children trail that took you through a number of gardens searching for various hidden ‘animals’. One of the favorite spots on the trail where the big stands of bamboo, that affectionately got named “Pandaboo” as my children felt that was a much more adept name for the plant. On hot summer days I’d sit in the cool of their shade while the kids would wander through the culms making up various games, that included hiding and searching for fallen stems to build tepees with…or spears 🙂
I choose Oldhamii Bamboo after completing a Permaculture Teacher Training course at Robyn Francis’s Permaculture property Djanbung Gardens in Nimbin. I along with other participants was lucky enough to get to tour the property and I quickly fell in love with the rather large clumps of various Bamboo species growing on the property. Old Hamii is a clumping bamboo so grows in roundish configurations rather then a running bamboo which are often hard to keep under control.
Old Hamii is a large bamboo so not suitable for small gardens though is a great addition to larger gardens if consideration is taken in regards to positioning. This bamboo has many uses, its young shoots are edible, it grows into thick, strong culms (hollow stems) which are great for construction, it’s a good screening and windbreak plant and wonderful for children to use as a building resource or to play among.