Bamboo is one of the spiritual plants that are associated with meditation, monastic work and serenity. They are often referred to as listening forests in Japanese culture where they are enjoyed for the sounds of wind and breezes that are captured in the swaying culms.
They are also noted as a bit of a pest when it comes to leaf drop and pools in particular.
The simple solution to this problem is not to plant then near a pool.
If you have a culm of Timor Black, or Buddha Belly (both clumping and not running), they will have dropped most of their leaves in the last few months and are bare sticks that look emaciated and messy.
Never fear, these are also one of the toughest customers in a garden regardless of their purpose.
Taming a bamboo is like a runaway teenager after too much red drink.
Some are easy to manage with a good haircut back to a hedge, or a mop top.
Bambusa chungi has a bluish tinge to its culm (stem) and eventually has fat wide culms that can be lopped and maintained at a constant level in a ‘cloud’ pruned shape (usually at 3-4m high).
Removal of any side shoots below the mop top gives an orderly but tranquil performance. Especially when it is set in a stone mulch.
If you like bamboo hedging, the varieties that have a shorter internode (that is the space between each side shoot on the culm) are easier to manage than the larger varieties.
Bambusa multiplex consists of a few varieties, or Fairy Bamboo both have fine leaf structures and make an excellent hedge that can be cut to anywhere between one and three metres. The shorter, the tighter the hedge.
Clumping bamboos are best for any garden as they essentially widen out from the centre and do not run.
Other running bamboos like Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) is a terrific specimen but needs to be controlled by concrete paving around all sides otherwise you have a local environmental disaster on your hands.
This is why this variety suits elevated planters. Plastic root control barriers are not as effective as they may be with other trees.
Whatever bamboo you like or choose will bring you joy. Like a coconut tree, bamboo with all its amazing uses and purposes is one of two plants around the world that are considered the tree of life.