Ideas for backyard - bamboo?

Will be moving into a property with a backyard about half an acre and a front yard about a quarter acre. Right now, these areas are occupied by three giant oak trees which cast over the house, and the property is completely fenced in around the perimeter. Besides the oak trees are just some palms here and there.
I am looking for ideas on what to do with the backyard. We are planning to add a pond somewhere, and have always been facinated with the idea of a large area of bamboos adjacent to a pond. With the oak trees the backyard is always shaded there is virtually no sunlight and grass do not even grow in that area except for a patch here and there.
What type of bamboo should we consider if we move forward with this idea? We do not know much about bamboo except I bought two small 36" pots of Budda's belly bamboo from a local grower for $60 a pot. I planted them onto the ground in my current resident and they are now about 7 feet tall, and have spread only about 3 feet in each direction. Very slow growing and very expensive. If I wish to plant a large area I need some bigger, taller and faster frowing variety, but I don't want any vigorous runners either. Any ideas what would be a good choice (if there is one). Saw some beatiful black bamboo a few years ago too and a single 10" pot was $250.00 - expensive.
Location - Fort Lauderdale area - zone 10b
Thanks for any comments.
O
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Take a trip around your area..there is bound to be somebody who will pay you to take bamboo out of his yard. I have some kudsu I could send you if you want,
alice
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I'm not an expert in bamboo but I do know that many kinds grow rapidly and they are hard to contain. It becomes a very invasive weed. If you are searching for the tropical feeling, there are many other plants that are effective. The giant bird-of-paradise has a great tropical influence. I had a small plot of bamboo once and it took three years of effort to eliminate the plant.
Dick

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Over in Delray off powerline is the American Orchid Society. They had a bamboo there from I believe Madagascar that was to die for. In front to the right of the entrance and around back. They share a driveway with Morikami gardens. Just over the line from Boca. The museum has a cafe worth the trip, I reccomend the cellophane noodles. Also there is a bamboo newsgroup- rec gardens bamboo and a gardenweb group.
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Your goals of spreading fast but not vigourously running might be contradictory. Consider a root barrier next to the pond.
I'm planning on adding some bamboo to my backyard for privacy. My lot is on the corner which puts my back yard in full view of the street and several other houses. I'm planning on installing a root barrier where the fence would be and then planting a fast-running variety.
One issue I have is height. I would like to see the street from the upstairs windows but not from the ground floor. Is there a runner species which grows to 10' and stops there? What about pruning the tops off of a taller species, will it kill them?
I'm in zone 7a.
-- spud_demon -at- thundermaker.net The above may not (yet) represent the opinions of my employer.
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Bamboos basically divide into running and clumping varieties (though I'm sure this is oversimplified). The running varieties are the ones you see taking over places. My house (in Tallahassee) has a single large clump of otherwise unidentified bamboo out back. I prune maybe a couple dozen canes a year; it grows vigorously but spreads slowly.

If you're ever farther up in the state, Kanapaha Gardens in Gainesville has an extensive bamboo garden with many varieties and lots of information. They also sell some in January and February, dug to order. See http://www.kanapaha.org . (I grew up a few miles from there.)
Edward
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<SNIP>

There's a nursery on Griffin road a few blocks east of 441 that has a very nice example of b. vulgaris "wamin" - dwarf buddha belly. Enter the nursery through the building, then turn left immediately and follow the path. I think it grows to about 15' and is reputed to be a fast grower. Wamin is relatively inexpensive, but I haven't checked price at this nursery. Everything else they sell is retail on steroids, though. :)
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