Bamboos evoke an exotic atmosphere wherever they are used – unfortunately, they are too often kept out of our gardens for fear of their invasive qualities or lack of hardiness. In truth, these elegant grasses, encompassing both woody and herbaceous forms, can achieve dramatic yet restrained effects in a range of climates. Their uses include both the ornamental, offering striking foliage and culms, and the practical, such as for screening or erosion control, not to mention the culinary treat of bamboo shoots and the structural qualities of the culm wood. Tropical and subtropical bamboos present many possibilities for landscapes in warmer climates, while the hardier species can be grown as far north as Minnesota in the United States and in the cooler climes of England and continental Europe. Bamboo culture has a long and distinguished legacy in East Asia, but much remains to be explored by Western gardeners and landscapers. Bamboo expert Ted Jordan Meredith provides a thorough and multifaceted treatment of these ancient grasses, covering origins and history, structure and form, cultivation and propagation, landscaping, and taxonomy and identification. He offers insight into selecting the right plant for the right situation, and presents useful advice on the best methods for containing or eradicating potentially invasive forms.
The bulk of Bamboo for Gardens is an encyclopedia of bamboo genera, species, and cultivars. More than 300 bamboos from 40 different genera are described in detail, including information on size, lighting and temperature requirements, native range, physical characteristics, and landscape and other uses. Meredith's excellent color photos and clear line drawings effectively illustrate both the details and broader effects of these exquisite plants.
Ted Jordan Meredith has written books on viticulture, enology, wine appreciation, garlic, and bamboo. His Bamboo for Gardens (Timber Press 2001) was awarded the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Literature Award and The New York Times Editor's Choice for Best Books for Gardening, and his The Complete Book of Garlic: A Guide for Gardeners, Growers, and Serious Cooks (Timber Press 2008) has become the standard reference for garlic enthusiasts. When a housing development suddenly took away his privacy, Ted became interested in bamboo as a beautiful, rapidly growing, evergreen screen. He quickly became captivated by bamboo in all of its aspects and began to grow, research, and write about bamboo. A native of Montana, Ted recalls the daring use of fresh garlic in the family kitchen. In later years, as his interest in cooking grew, Ted enthusiastically incorporated garlic into much of his cuisine but initially regarded garlic as a supermarket commodity with little distinction. It was at a farmer's market that he purchased a few heads of a Rocambole garlic, 'Spanish Roja'. Ted realized then that all garlic was not the same, and he never looked back, voraciously exploring a new-found world of hundreds of cultivars in nearly a dozen different horticultural groups. Ted and his wife garden and grow bamboo at their home in Washington state. In addition to writing and photography, Ted enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, and music.
Meredith's approach perfectly suits this objective, with engaging personal experience illuminating comprehensive coverage of the subject at hand. The book's attractive format opens the door to the usefulness and beauty of bamboos, presenting a vast range of possibilities to enhance a garden or landscape. Meredith's fine resource offers clarity and enlightenment to new and experienced gardeners alike. -- Alice Joyce Booklist 20010801 For anyone interested in learning about bamboo, this is the book to have. -- Kym Pokorny Oregonian 20010913 This is a landmark, in that a book on growing bamboo for Americans by an American has finally been written. I would not be without Bamboo for Gardens, and would recommend it to both the newcomer and expert alike - it is a required read. -- Ian Connor Bamboo 20010803 Will help gardeners understand the practicalities as well as the aesthetics of bamboo gardening. -- Verlyn Klinkenborg New York Times Book Review 20011202 Another winner from the folks at Timber Press. THE definitive guide to growing bamboo in American gardens, and worth every penny. -- Michael Weishan GardenworksOnline.com 20020122 This is certainly an excellent book on the landscape uses of bamboos. Agroforestry News 20011214 A bamboo bible rather than simply a gardening manual. Science News 20020112 Be warned: Meredith's bamboo world is so appealing that you might refuse to come back to the mundane landscapes of "ordinary"--that is, non-bamboo--plants... We expect a renaissance in bamboo utilization, due entirely to this book. HortIdeas 20020130 All interested in Bamboo should obtain this book. There is certain to be surprises in store for you... It is quite simply a very good book. -- John E. Bryan Gardening Newsletter 20020106 Surely the best all-around and certainly the most up-to-date treatment of these curious grasses... Both a good introduction and a worthy guide. -- Jim Waddick American Gardener 20020322 Easy-to-read chapters cover bamboo's origin and history, structure and form, cultivation and propogation, landscape uses and maintenance, and taxonomy... The author sets the record straight on this much-maligned plant. The book is a reference of value. -- Rachael Green American Reference Books Annual 20010424 This book is sure to expand your horizons as a gardener. If you live where bamboos are perennial grasses, you should have this book on your shelves. -- Diana Pederson Suite101.com 20020104 Really want to know about bamboo? This is the book to get. -- John Van de Water Newark Star-Ledger 20020407 Mr. Meredith deals with all of these issues in a way that will appeal both to the practical gardener and to the academically trained botanist. E-Streams 20020428 A wonderful reference for both the confirmed and the up-and-coming bamboo geek. -- Ketzel Levine Plant Talk 20020604 A comprehensive look at the largest and most spectacular member of the grass family...Offering the gardener or landscaper a broad and user-friendly introduction...Illustrated with beautiful color photography. Ecology Action Newsletter 20020505 From ground covers to timber types, Ted Jordan Meredith, author of Bamboo for Gardens, knows his subject. Oregonian 20020731 This leading handbook in this specialized gardening subject has a catalog of innumerable kinds of bamboo with color photos, descriptions, and points of interest. Small Prees Book Review 20020731 Bamboo for Gardens is a full treatise on bamboos and falls into the category of "reference book" for gardeners-the kind of book Timber Press does so well. American Rhododendron Society Journal 20020819 Because it is written in an engaging style by a fellow gardener (not a scientist), I found myself reading with relish sections which I realized later were quite technical. This book is a must-have. I was shocked to hear the price was so reasonable. I am personally recommending it to everyone I know. -- Clear Englebert FungShway.com 20020623 Sufficient documentation and relevant consultation with specialists in these grasses give extra value to this publication. -- Zulma E. Rugolo de Agrasar Plant Science Bulletin 20020113 A terrific bamboo book. Taxon 20020221 This book is for the knowledgeable and for those unfamiliar but interested in learning about and possibly growing bamboo. -- R. Cox California Garden 20021022