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That’s it – I’m officially launching the BUM.

I’m still nursing my wounds after having to deal with a client’s rampant black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) – don’t believe ’em when they tell you it’s clump forming: it is, but only if you want clumps six feet or more across.

Now I’ve been collared by my next-door-neighbour wondering what these big hefty weeds growing in her garden are. It turns out that when the next-door-neighbour on her other side had his garden re-designed, the designer (who should have known better) scattered bamboo willy-nilly through the otherwise well-planned borders – and crucially, along the dividing fence between the two gardens.

The bamboo has now decided next door looks kind of nice too, so it’s making a bid to colonise my poor neighbour’s garden. This is what happens when a garden is designed without consideration for the fact that it’s a garden: i.e. it grows, and some plants grow more politely than others.

Bamboo is a very impolite plant, has no respect for borders, or anything else for that matter. It sends out runners as thick as steel hawsers – and as difficult to get out – that then send up huge canes which you simply can’t ignore or live with – or get rid of. I believe it should be classified as invasive, in the same bracket as Japanese knotweed. After all, no doubt the Victorians thought knotweed gave borders height, stately elegance and architectural beauty when they brought it back from the Himalayas in the 1800s – and look where that got us.

I’m now wondering whether I’ll cause a civil war if I advise my neighbour to do something unmentionable involving cutting a stem and pouring something lethal down its hollow middle. Please – don’t find yourself in the same situation. Get it out of your gardens. Now.

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