the Bamboo Whisperer
Today I had a visit from the Bamboo Whisperer. . . a fellow I met at the gym who, as it turns out, has a fantastic garden. He lights up when he talks about the plants, what they want, and how to transform the earth to reveal what ‘plan’ lies beneath the surface. After discussing my garden with him I wanted to invite him over to walk the garden, to get his impression, and to share what I’ve created so far. Afterall, this is a man who has tamed the feared running variety of bamboo; he knows what he’s talking about!
Walking through the garden with him I saw it through completely new eyes. He spoke of creating places of rest in strategic points in the garden, for sitting and enjoying the plantings. Of course, this is the natural extension of how I use it. I work there for pleasure but he reminded me of the equally important need to create areas for repose. He also spoke about leading the eye by creating areas of interest at the end of lines-of-sight. And he spoke of creating little ‘rooms’ by using natural boundaries like bushes and bamboo.
In many ways we were on the same page. After I created the path that follows the crest of the hill in a semi-circular fashion, I’d already started to think about what could be done with the area created inside the bend. First, i’d thought about a series of downhill terraces with dry plantings. Then I thought of taking this to an extreme, digging into the hill to flatten the space, enough to put a table and chairs, or a small bench there. I was thrilled when, unprompted by me, he envisioned the same. Still he saw the space much bigger, which would involve my moving the path outward. I’m not sure I’ll do that. . . yet. I’ll dig the space first but. . . I know that once I do that, the space will dictate what comes next. Stay tuned to see how this part of the garden changes~