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Verdant green leaves flutter in the breeze on gracefully swaying stems, uttering a million soft whispers that build together into waves on a shoreline. Sound, motion, and color combine in almost hypnotic fashion, encouraging the observer to stop, rest, and listen in tranquility...

Bamboo. It's a plant that strikes fear or sparks delight in people, depending on their opinions. The opening lines above reflect my view of this beautiful and incredibly useful group of plants. And it is that: a group of many, different plants, though many people speak about bamboo in blanket statements, treating them all interchangeably. Bamboo comes in a wide range of sizes and growth habits. I firmly believe there is a bamboo suitable for every garden. Whether you wish to grow any is up to personal choice, but there's no need to villify or fear these plants. Bamboos have specific needs and management techniques, and once these are understood it becomes much less daunting.

Bamboos are true grasses …

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