Bamboo is considered a renewable resource, in part due to the fact that it grows so quickly -- in some instances more than 1 foot per day in ideal conditions. Using cut bamboo poles in features of your garden will include the look of this sturdy Asian plant without having to deal with the rapid and sometimes hard to control spreading of live bamboo plants. Bamboo poles can be used for many things in a garden, both functional and aesthetic.
Bamboo poles work well as garden stakes. Plants such as beans and tomatoes need support as they grow, and inserting a bamboo pole a few inches from the trunk allows you to tie it to the bamboo pole and will give it upward support as it grows. This technique works well for plants that grow heavy vegetables or vines and also for saplings. Young fruit trees, whether planted in the ground or in a pot, will benefit from being staked to a bamboo support. Sheherazade Goldsmith, author of "A Slice of Organic Life," recommends using several poles in a row and fixing horizontal wires between them for a raspberry plant support.
Thick bamboo poles can be lined up together to create a section of fence. Since bamboo poles can be quite tall, you can make a privacy fence that cannot be seen over, or you can cut them and make something as small as a 1-foot tall garden bed border or retaining wall. Archways are also a feature that can be made with sturdy bamboo poles. The poles can be left natural or painted.
Railings and Gates
The smoothness and length of bamboo poles makes them prime material for outdoor railings. They may be used as the top rail on a deck, stairway or pathway. Latch several bamboo poles together to make a natural-looking garden gate. Using bamboo structurally in this way creates accessibility and function in a garden, while giving it a natural, zen-like atmosphere that doesn't clash with the foliage the way other manmade materials might.
Sections of wide bamboo poles can be carved with designs as artwork. Poles that are at least 4 to 5 inches in diameter are usually chosen for this purpose as it provides more surface area for the design to be seen. Poles may feature one design that wraps around the bend of the pole, such as a dragon, or can contain several designs similar to a totem. Placing a carved bamboo pole in your garden or along a path creates a special place in your garden, especially if you carved the design yourself. Coat them with tung oil to help protect the wood and your design.