In recent years bamboos have become very popular, and with good reason as they can be invaluable for screening, make impressive container plants for patios and give a vertical dimension to beds and borders, but be prepared to spend a little time on your bamboo every year. In most situations I like to use strong loppers cut out to the base up to 50% of the older canes then strip the leaves from the bottom metre of the canes to reveal the beauty of the canes. Some species are particularly spectacular such as striped Phyllostachys aurea Holochrysum (pictured), and the black bamboo Phylostachys nigra which is a showstopper against a light background  

When bamboo is grown as a screen to shut out unwanted views or as a windbreak be vigilant for any wandering tendencies and chop out stems appearing out of line. You can control the height of the screen effectively with shears.

Planted in a good sized container they work well as container plants especially if the canes are thinned out to allow gentle movement. If it starts to get too large for the pot take it out and use an old saw to halve or quarter it then pot-up the divisions into fresh compost. Do remember to liquid feed regularly.

Don’t waste the canes you cut out. Trim off the leaves into the compost heap and leave the canes to dry and use them to support the likes of sweet peas and runner beans.