Steve Thomas is the host of Planet Green's Renovation Nation, a program that focuses on making green renovations to homes across the country. In his regular column on PlanetGreen.com, Steve goes behind the scenes of the show and offers additional tips and insight on green renovation.
There is something like 15,000 species of bamboo. Some of them are suitable for structural uses and others aren't. The are species of bamboo that you can't build with. It's just junk. But that stuff that the Flemmings have in their backyard and the stuff that I have in my backyard make lovely trellises and fences. There are all kinds of things you can do.
As an Easy Backyard Bamboo Project:
You can do the initial fastening with black wire ties and criss-cross them in an X-shape fashion to hold the upright to the rail. Then you can lash over the top of that with green twine to make it look like a traditional Japanese tent.
If you have it growing in your backyard or someone else has it growing in their backyard, it's free. It looks great, and it's a fun project. We use the bamboo in our backyard for trellises and other stuff. It's great stuff to work with. You can cut it with a fine-toothed handsaw. You don't need power tools at all.
And you just use bamboo as it comes from nature. It's naturally weather and rot-resistant. (Although it will rot, eventually.) I have a trellis that I built five to seven years ago and it's still fine. I think on a global scale is so fast growing and so strong and it sequesters carbon. Like I've said before, Bamboo is a game-changer. I love bamboo.
Don't miss the Eco Extermination Episode Steve writes about.