Stand Back and Watch it Grow

Located on the southern outskirts of Colombo, in what was, only a decade or so ago, an area of marshy jungle, paddy fields and cinnamon plantations, my small garden shares one characteristic with everywhere else in the West Zone of Sri Lanka – it’s growing season.  Instigated by the widespread ‘showers’ (as they call them) from a prolonged ‘low’ in the Bay of Bengal and fuelled by the rising temperatures we experience following the end of the South-West Monsoon, for some plants, it’s “stand back and watch it grow”.

There can be no more dramatic example of growth than the two spears of Black Bamboo I first sighted just three weeks ago.  Already over two inches across and now far taller than my outstretched fingers on tippy toe, their immature growing tips are a study in pinks, greens  and aubergine – and are my entry in tis week’s Sunday Stills Challenge – Signs of September.

For those of you who are keen gardeners or naturalists, you might be interested in a set of comparison shots I put together – from first sighting until today, taken from the same (or as close as I could to the same) position each week.

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31 thoughts on “Stand Back and Watch it Grow

    • It’s pretty exotic here too, Lynne – someone is making a fortune importing it from Singapore and growing it into mature stands to sell to hotels and the like. I love it and have been enjoying living with such an exotic thing 🙂

  1. That is a triffid quality growth rate! My friend was ill for some years before she died, and her grandson took three or four weeks of hard graft to get rid of the overgrowth of bamboo in her garden.

    • Yes, very Triffid-esque growth rate, Viv. I know how those running type bamboos can grow into invasion monsters – this clumping type will get large eventually, but is easily contained. Anyway, here in Sri Lanka gardens are rarely left for a week, let alone years, without being trimmed and snipped into submission.

    • So glad to know someone else shares a fascination for the details! Seriously, it’s one of the great joys of blogging that I can indulge my fascination with details, and comparisons, and post the results – it doesn’t matter if nobody else is interested because at least the shots make it out of the camera onto the blog 🙂

  2. This plant grows like Jack’s Beanstalk. Our neighbour had a hedge of this stuff growing along our boundary wall. It crept underneath, and started growing up through our brick driveway.

    • I hadn’t thought of that – I think those stories will have been about one of the giant varieties – you know, like a bread and butter plate size. This black Burmese variety would break – but it does go to show how quickly some things can grow, eh 🙂

  3. I have always been fascinated with bamboo. This is a treat to be able to watch this. It truly is a miracle plant.

    • This’s the tropics! No, that’s a gross over-simplification. This giant black bamboo responds to water and sunshine like a chemical reaction – it’s astounding – I’ve never seen anything like it either 🙂

  4. I should have a nice stand of bamboo on the hill behind my folks house in Tennessee next year. A local Chinese restaraunt in Knoxville has a huge stand of it and I want to see if it will grow just a bit south of there..:-))
    p.s. When I was in a survival school in the Army I learned there are many uses for this tough as nails plant..

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