One of the most spectacular and useful grasses is the bamboo. Here, the yellow groove bamboo Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Aureocaulis’ and the green groove bamboo Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’ have been used to create a mysterious maze.
Both of these bamboos have rapidly spreading rhizomes which grow into shoots, leaving the leading shoot to journey ever onwards. This type of spreading bamboo is called a leptomorph.
This running quality has been exploited by containing this rampant growth behind a special membrane buried 1m below the surface and joined by a 1m overlap to prevent the bamboo from escaping. The membrane extends 10-15cm above the ground to prevent the rhizomes from ‘jumping’ out of their contained areas.
The cost of this membrane is beyond the means of most of us so in a domestic situation; the best way to contain these bamboos is to dig a ‘moat’ around the clump at the desired size of your clump and cut off any escapees. Done every spring (and autumn if mild) this should keep even the most enthusiastic bamboo in bounds.