We’ve been in this house 2 years already and we really should have planted trees in the first week. We get the sun all day – which is lovely in winter as we barely need to turn on heaters during the day, but in summer it is HOT. I don’t go in the backyard for 6 months of the year as there is no shade at all.
Note to self: next time plant trees immediately. In fact, I’ve started growing trees from cuttings now in preparation, even though in reality it’s probably another 3-4 years away. Unless of course we’re insanely rich by then and can afford mature plants! In the meantime I have gone overboard on cuttings of crepe myrtle, smoke bush, and a few others, and have a million seedlings of lilli pilli and maraya due to seeds falling from existing plants.
Originally we had scrappy dracencas growing in 3 tall bunches which didn’t provide much shade or privacy. In true 60s style, the original owners had put in a brick fence breezeway, which I suppose lets the air flow through, but means the whole neigbourhood can see what you’re up to. We’re also on a bit of a slope, so if you’re standing across the road you can see over the 6 foot high fence.
So I decided to grow bamboo, but was put off by spending $60 per plant for 8-10 plants that were only 30cm high. Eventually I stumbled upon a woman selling bamboo plants on Ebay – $130 for 10 plants and pickup from Caboolture or Archefield (which is a nearby suburb for me). These plants are great and will get to about 6m, so not ridiculously high, but tall enough to solve the shade and exposure issues.
I had a fair bit of trouble getting an idea of how fast things grow, so here is my series of photos so others can benefit.
Planting in November 2012 – approx 30cm high (no photo)
March 2013 – 4 months later – some are almost 2m and others are still around chest height. Most plants are quite bushy with one main stalk going for gold.
June 2013 – 6 months later – they’ve slowed down for the colder months, but are still growing. All plants have at least one stalk taller than me (172cm) and are bushing out quite nicely down the bottom, and sending up completely new stalks. Since March I have taken out some potted dracencas I had placed along the wall to try for some privacy, and I’ve also tied the bamboo in clumps to the wall.
That’s the snowflake in full bloom in the middle – also a plant that grows really well from cuttings.
I also have 2 plants still in pots and they are only about chest high.