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What plants would look well in yard with bamboo?

Posted by theresse Portland, Oregon (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 5:15

Hello -

Tomorrow morning a couple of bamboo-planting guys are coming over with two 6-foot long galvanized horse troughs in which they'll place rocks and dirt and then plant about 6 timber bamboo plants, for privacy screen and because I like the look of bamboo - I think I may have chosen the ones called Sweet Shoots (timber variety). My yard is fairly bare so I'd like to plant more things that might complement the bamboo.

My back yard is a boring square/rectangle - maybe about 25 x 35 feet (?) with almost all grass/lawn. It's between the sides of two garages (one - ours - on South side of yard and one on North side). It's in a part of town with hundred year-old houses, including ours. 2/3 of the yard gets a lot of sun throughout the whole afternoon and into the evening (not morning). The West side/back of the back yard (furthest from house) has a tall english laurel hedge running across it. The bamboo/troughs will be along a fence on the North side (right of yard if looking out the back door), hiding an unattractive looming house just beyond it. But I'll still have the whole side of my neighbor's garage to contend with, which has white vinyl siding and is just very bright/bare when you walk in from our gate along our driveway (first thing you see when you walk into yard from gate). There used to be a tall/old butterfly bush hiding some of that white garage which we recently removed cause we were constantly having to prune it. I do miss the gorgeous purple flowers though, as well as getting a bit of shade for sitting under. I thought of putting a really nice, artistic trellis against all that white of that garage side, and maybe growing some vine up that or perhaps placing one of those ubiquitous apple espaliers there. ;) Also thought of planting a medium-sized tree further to the left there, in the corner. On the other side - South side of the yard - in the far corner - I have a 4 year-old quaking aspen and some other shade-loving plants alongside that garage (large hosta and some ferns, for the most part). That's about it for plants!

Re. colors, I love lots of cools like greens, silvers, blues and purples. Don't mind others though. I'd like to have a flagstone patio put in (kind of blue-ish color of some sort as opposed to pinkish or tan) and put some gray small gravel and bushy grasses around that, maybe leaving some of the lawn grass in but not sure (gets weeds quickly). Not sure about what else. Can't afford a designer...can you tell??

So back to my long-winded point, what shrubs, vines, or not-too-wide trees (due to small yard) would nice or at least not clash with bamboo? E.g. I'm thinking typical "english garden" plants might not work so well? I don't want to go to japanese either though. I also have hops (the vine) hanging over the gate that you come through from the South side to enter the yard.

Some thoughts I have: vine maple; red bud; lilac tree; grasses... A 20-foot tree would look great in the corner.

Also, if I grow a vine up that garage - which would be just to the left of the troughs of bamboo - would they just take over the bamboo do you think?!

Thank you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What plants would look well in yard with bamboo?

You are zone 8/9...mandevilla and/or philodendron will be very nice but die back every year in frost if not protected.

RE: What plants would look well in yard with bamboo?

I think the nandina looks pretty with bamboo, and you need contrast to the strong verticals with wide plants. Fatsia, acuba, melianthus, acanthus, can grow so many things that I am quite jealous. Forest Pansy redbud is a beautiful small tree, or one of the magnolias with the giant leaves, or a persimmon. A white brugmansia would be fragrant and pretty. A small water feature would add to your enjoyment. I would chose an evergreen vine so you don't have bare twigs all winter...oh and tree peonies! I find nothing lives in the ground beneath the bamboo, but yours will be in tubs so you may have no competition to your plants. I am sure there are pretty public gardens where you can go get ideas. Have fun!

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