When I was young, growing up outside of Washington, DC, there was a lovely hedge of bamboo between our house and our neighbors, the Welden's. Jack Welden was a landscape architect and had planted it as a privacy screen. I was only about 8 years old then, but I was impressed with the Welden's garden and now can appreciate the fact that Jack planted running bamboo, Phyllostachys, and knew enough to install a steel rhizome barrier.
Twenty years later I found myself living in a colder climate, and re-discovering bamboo as a landscape plant. I've spent twenty more years growing, evaluating, and designing with bamboo. My academic training in horticulture began in the arid climate of Colorado, but my professional experience has come from landscape projects throughout the Northeast.
My epiphany was in Japan in 1992, while attending an international bamboo conference. The horticulture of bamboo in Japan is an art. Bamboo is far more than just a plant in Japan, it symbolizes grace, beauty, versatility, and strength. It sways in the breeze, it covers slopes, it defines space, it is a softer kind of evergreen, it is lush and it thrives. It lives long after it is cut, as food, as utility, as art, as music, as inspiration. It endures.
Since Japan I have traveled the world to see bamboo in its native habitats as well as cultivated gardens and committed myself to this unique group of plants in a myriad of ways. I served on the board for 15 years and am Past President of the American Bamboo Society and currently serve as Executive Director of the World Bamboo Organization. I am also Manager of Pioneer Plants, LLC, the U.S. marketing and production company for Bamboo Select, growing selected clones of some of the very best ornamental bamboos.
My background is at the same time focused and varied. I know how bamboo grows, I know what it can do and I think its unique abilities lend it great potential in residential gardens and commercial projects across the U.S. I am uniquely qualified to consult and advise on bamboo use in residential gardens, commercial or municipal projects, educational presentations, cultivation practices, contract installations, maintenance schedules, and sourcing of the most appropriate species.