I'm a big fan of large grasses, worldwide. Not only is it a good
renewable resource, some of the products are greener for florring thatn
Bamboo and related materials are used for a large variety of building
materials. Consider the use of chij grass for yurt building and
decoration. Some of the woven Kirghiz mats rival oriental rugs in their
complexity and symbolism, not to mention the kinds of natural colors
used for dying the weavings, room dividers, mats for interiors of yurts,
etc. Consider how adaptable grasses are to many climates as a building
Sometime, for sheer gorgeous cames, take a peek at MOSO.
Here is a general article on large grasses:
Interesting... I'll have to check out the links. I also like the odd
piece made with stuff like rattan and similar (which can really warm up,
and humanize a place), and have recently become suddenly interested in
baskets and basket-weaves (for 3D modelling, too).
These days you can get some really great-looking high-end exotic stuff
that would look simply fabulous in an upscale designer Manhattan
warehouse loft-condo (notice the cliches), say a single item or 3 to
spice up the place, but, ya, the stuff can be crackly, and if used a
fair bit, and with a fair bit of roughness, start to come apart too.
It has a tensile strength similar to that of steel, IIRC...
Expensive as bleep, tho', if you want to plant it in your yard =>:-p Which
I can't figrue out, since it's a grass (member of the family Poaceae) and
can be propagated by dividing up clunps and planting them...
On the way to our university in China, part of the highway was closed
for repairs and so we had to detour, and then the driver got lost.
We took all these weird side "roads" and saw all kinds of funky sights
to make me feel like I was cast within a frame right out of National
Geographic... At one point, I turned to one of my American colleagues in
the van and said almost exactly that...
Anyway, we passed an entire forest of Bamboo.
Hey, cool, Don! Thanks for the entertainment... You were a real extra
"...Only later, as he rollerbladed to a local internet cafe to check his
email and alt.architecture and respond to one of Don's posts, and passed
many a smiling and gawking pedestrian of east asian persuasion did a
fractured remnant of that tortured existence return, but only briefly.
That's what I'm going to do with what I've gotten. Figure I'll divide
the clump when the season is right (should be around Feb. in this area),
same with the ornamental grasses, and distribute the clumps around the
I might try mail-ordering some, haven't decided. But the local place has
these huge pots, with a few culms, and want's, like, $275 per pot... I
realize tehy're trying to earn a living, but that takes a bit too much
out of *our* living =:-o
As for any that's growing either wild, or in abandoned lots; you have to
be sure that
(1) you have permision from the landowners to go onto the land and dig
the stuff up;
(2) the plant in quesion is not some sort of native protected species;
(3) the plant is not going to run completely rampant in the yard once
it's put into garden soil and/or receives fertilizer and regular water;
(4) you're dividing the clump at the right time of year (i.e., the most
dormant period) and that you're taking a healthy division (i.e., not
dying culms at the center).
Since one can read up pretty easily re: (3) and (4), (1) and (2) are the
most difficult part of it (and (1) is the most dangerous part, at least
here in Texas <LOL!>)
I understand that some of the plants do have to be *originally* obtained
from Asia and/or other far-off places, but it still seems that the plants
should be easier to propagate than are a lot of other plants that cost
less. It seems to me that it's got to do in part with the "exotic feel"
of the plant, rather than the actual degree of difficulty...but that is
merely my opinion/guess, not any sort of statistical or factual
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