Starting a Bamboo Garden in Colorado / phyllostachys atrovaginata
Greetings! I am new -- new to the forum, new to colorado, and new to bamboo! I am getting started here and would generally LOVE any advice and expertise that might come my way.
I have spent time online, learning about bamboo, but I have so much to learn, so let me run my "concept" by you and if any of you have advice, please chime in!
--I have a new house in Fort Collins, CO (Zone 5-6).
--New construction = sandy, clay soil, that has been driven over many times by heavy construction vehicles.
--I have a small backyard of about 50' X 18' in which I would like to grow bamboo
--I would like to use about half of this space for a bamboo grove (say 25' X 18')
--This area gets half to full sun all summer long, and is shadier in the winter.
--I have found the phyllostachys atrovaginata to be a bamboo that has the look I want, and it seems like it would tolerate winters here.
--I have close neighbors, so containment is important. I have time to spend tending to my bamboo, so I would not attempt to plant and forget. From what I have read, a trench surrounding the entire area with pruning 1-3 times per season seems like the most effective method.
--I am assuming a 2' deep trench all the way around would be adequate.
--I am toying with the idea of creating a path THROUGH this bamboo grove. It would be ideal if I could go and sit "in" the bamboo, with a small bench or something. I have not seen any photos of any groves done like this, but I am going to try.
--I have read that these should be planted every 5', which means that I should plan to purchase roughly 12 plantings (5 gal or larger).
My questions for all of you experts at the moment are these:
1) Is this a species of bamboo that will do well in my zone?
2) Will I be relatively safe in assuming that I can control this bamboo and prevent it from popping up in all of my neighbors' yards by pruning consistently?
3) If this bamboo gets half sun, will it still grow?
4) Any guesses on how tall these will grow?
5) Is 12 5-gallon plantings for this area too many? Too few?
6) Any guesses on how many years it will take for these to "fill in" and look like a grove?
7) Does anyone have experience with creating a path THROUGH the bamboo grove?
8) What are the errors in my plan? What am I overlooking? Your advice will be most appreciated!!!