The origins of bamboo
Indiginous tribes would cry out "bam-boo!" whilst burning bamboo to keep away both predators and evil spirits. It is from this onomatopoeia that the name bamboo originates.
The giant bamboos that grow at the south-west corner of the farmhouse are the biggest in temperate Europe. Certain culms are more than 20 metres high with a circumference of 60 cm.
Giant bamboos are widely used as a construction material but also are highly sought after for their ornamental quality. The shoots of giant bamboos are comestible.
Bamboo in your garden
Bamboo has its place even in the smallest of gardens, however it needs a minimum of 20 m2 to grow well. Each species has its own particular plantation and maintenance needs. Please ask for advice at la jardinerie (The Garden Centre)
Using bamboo as a construction material
Come The Laotian Village and learn about construction techniques using bamboo.
Bamboo-an edible grass
There are more than 1200 species of bamboos in the world. It really is a plant of multiple virtues. Grazed on by dinosaures, a saviour for Indians during the famines, used to build shelters, rope bridges, beds, bikes, cables, baskets, fishing rods, bows and arrows for hunting to name but a few of it's innumerable uses... bamboo has always been part of our daily lives.
"On the one hand a symbol of continuity because its evergreen quality all year round, a symbol of fidelity because of it's ability to support the weight of winter snow and its cane that is always hollow and immaculate, straight even in the midst of the tempest, it bows from side to side without breaking".
The Book of Bamboo, by David Farrelly (Sierra Club Books)