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Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:24 pm
by Tom
I've been considering bamboo recently.
Trying to learn about it.
Everyone I ask hates the stuff.
So has any body here on Wright Chat had experience with bamboo.

Then it ocuurred to me seeing how bamboo is Japanese and everything why wouldn't Wright have used it?
I can't remember any example of the use of bamboo in a landscape by Wright.

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:37 am
by Roderick Grant
A lot of people dislike bamboo because some species are so invasive, and once established are hard to get rid of.
I don't know of any FLW use of bamboo, but there is a huge clump of it on the front lawn of RMS's residence in WeHo.

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:42 am
by SDR
Stands of bamboo at the Kings Road house that I recall are at the rear property line. The stalks were 6 inches in diameter when I was there twenty years ago. I wonder when they were planted . . .

S

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:32 pm
by Roderick Grant
RMS planted a clump at the sidewalk next to the driveway. It is a specie that is less aggressive and easier to maintain, so I am told.

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:19 pm
by Tom
I'm going to a bamboo nursery next week to learn something about it.
A couple of varieties like Vivax and Moso are 6" diameter and 65-75 ft tall.
To contain bamboo I've learned one uses 24-36" wide roll of high density polyethylene buried in the ground
surrounding the plants. They can't get out that way.

One of my favorite architects was Edward Larrabee Barnes. When his IBM building opened in NYC I was there once during the first couple of years. The large circular atrium planters contained huge towering bamboo. It was beautifull and contemplative. The building was so fresh and full of people. The black green granite and green glass facade is indeed like a jewel. anyway -
Years later, maybe decades I returned after IBM was gone. The bamboo was gone too. Hardly anyone hung out there.
There was a lonely hot dog cart in the atrium and security guards all over the place. Think it had been bought by Saudis. It felt creepy.

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:46 pm
by Reidy
The story about Schindler's backyard bamboo is that he planted it once he had neighbors on that side. With only open land to the west he hadn't needed it. For a brief glimpse of the house in 1924 see 36:50.

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:38 pm
by SDR

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:32 am
by g.dorn
check out this page - has lots of videos - gardens, buildings plus taxonomy

https://worldpermacultureassociation.com/bamboo-garden/

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:22 pm
by SDR
I've made increasing use of various bamboo wood products---3-ply plywoods, for the most part---in recent years. An attractive and useful material . . .

S

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:04 pm
by Tom
GDorn - thanks for the link to Bamboo Garden. Lots of great information there that I need. Permaculture is close in philosophy to Wright I'd speculate.
SDR - Those shots of IBM don't measure up to my early memories. Perhaps I was just an impressionable kid when I first walked in. AR had an article back then describing how the atrium trusses where trucked through the city and erected between 2-6am in order to get clear streets.

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:10 pm
by DavidC
My wife and I have planted some of the cold-hardy clumping bamboos around our property. Not invasive, at all. Slow growing and beautiful.


David

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:17 pm
by SDR
Nice ! I didn't know (but should have guessed) that there are so many varieties of bamboo. Nature (with a capital N, as Mr Wright said) is so fecund . . .!

S

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:13 pm
by DRN
A previous owner of the Sweeton house planted Arrow Bamboo along the rear embankment to screen the house from headlights on the rear drive of the Unitarian church down the street. I have a hate/love relationship with it. While I like the evergreen foliage in the winter and the screening/privacy it provides of the not so nice portion of our view, it spreads mercilessly. Every couple of years, I use a hoe with the blade removed(its a hook on a pole) on a wet day to yank the runners out of the yard. Once a year when the poison ivy is dormant, I venture into the fringes of the 1/4 acre thicket to cut down the stalks that will block my good views into the woods and to keep an orderly edge with the yard.

I considered removal, but the cost was astronomical and the arborist was concerned about destabilization of the 16' high x 100% slope embankment in the effort, and possible damage to the root systems of mature oak and hickory trees by the equipment required to truly eradicate it.

Be certain of the "running or clumping" status of the species you consider...if it's a runner, find out what means of containment are necessary.

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:57 am
by KevinW
Wouldn't it be more in the spirit of an organic architecture and sustainability to research and plant what is native to your region? Most bamboo is horribly invasive and requires a lot of water.

Re: Bamboo ... and Wright of course

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:03 pm
by Roderick Grant
DRN, with all that bamboo, you could harvest the excess and create a line of exotic furniture for Tiki Hut Clubs all around America.