The Buffed Garden - [Flex Your Garden]
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Bamboo Trek 02-18-06
Destination: Santa Cruz, CA


0700 hours
phone call:
“Dude you awake?”
“Uh, Yeah, I’m just going to make some coffee”
“Aiite, I’ll be there soon. Peace.”

The aroma of Seattle’s Best Coffee began to fill the condo as I was printing up directions to find Tim’s place. This was the start to a wonderful day. This was my bamboo excursion for Feb 2006. The air was crisp and cold and filled with great expectation -- with great anticipation.

I wanted to see bamboo. I needed to see bamboo. On this day, Feb 18, 2006 - I would immerse myself once again into the wonderful world of bamboo. [Many thanks to my cousin Jeff and Uncle Jethro for letting us use the van for that day.]

Now, it’s spring time. The spring chill and the increase in light levels has shcoked my system into “GARDEN MODE.” This is when one feels the deep burning desire to go PLANT something, whether it be a cactus, a veggie, or a broomstick. YOU JUST GOTTA go plant something, MAN. The long winter months have thrown my being into withdrawal, and now, on this special day, it was time to get my ultimate bamboo fix goin' on.

The mental chains of the cold and dark dreary months were slowly melting away, giving way to the new season. Jeff arrived at my condo, with the “JOY JEFF” van. Seats were previously extracted, and we were ready to roll. That is, after another cup of coffee, and after directions were finished printing.

There were two stops scheduled for this day. First stop: Mr. Tim Hicks, bamboo master-sensei-dude. [contact: Tim Hicks -] Second stop: Mel, over in Ben Lomond. [Yeah, I never heard of it until that day. At least I can now say, I’ve been to Ben Lomond. That’s cool. Yeah, it’s in California. ] Our departure time was about 0900 hours. Off we go on the epic journey - in search of bamboo. The drive down 280 towards Santa Cruz was a drive of “Nirvanic Zenly peaceful eagerness.”

It was therapy after such a long nerve-racking week of phone calls, paper cuts, escalated voices, and my favorite words “now” and “favor” for both Jeff and I. Jeff climbs phone poles. I take phone calls. Dude, Jeff, Do me a favor, just cut the wire bro. Closer and closer, we were approaching our destination. We painstakingly followed the directions from Tim: “follow the white fence, second star on the right, and straight until morning. See how far the rabbit goes down the hole.” Duuuude. As we arrived in this botanical bamboo never-never-wonderland, my heart skipped a beat. I was in awe. Even Jeff goes “Dude, I didn’t know that bamboo grew so tall. That’s tight.” From a distance I already caught a glimpse of the blue bamboo that I was desperately in search of. It was love at first sight. My heart swelled deep in me with such profound passion for the plant. I cried man. I cried. (Yes, if you are wondering I hugged a blue bamboo while I was there.)

Anyway, upon our arrival, Tim’s wife greeted us, and informed us that Tim went to get some creamer for the coffee. OH man, I immediately knew that I was in the right place in the presence of coffee aficionados. She began to give Jeff and I a tour of their piece of heaven

She goes:
“How old are you?”
“Man. You’re in trouble. You’re going to end up like this one day.” Motioning to the Moso in the yard.

Little did she know that I was already bitten by the “Bamboo bug.” Once we got to the back yard, that is when I was so totally enraptured by the beauty of bamboo. I was so out of my mind that I didn’t care that I was standing in a wet slush of horse manure. I plain didn’t care, durnit.

Then in the distance, out comes the bamboo master DUDE himself – Tim Hicks. You know this guy just had to be the Bamboo Master dude.

Dude. I know. I know Esteban over in Sebastopol was the Bamboo Master, but Tim Hicks- he is THE Bamboo Master-DUDE.Tim then proceeded to take us further into the bamboo forest. Although the sky started to become overcast, the radiant beauty of bamboo still could not be overshadowed. The strong vertical element of this plant gave an illusion that the bamboo reached deep into the sky.

The symphony of the wind rustling thru the leaves touched a note deep in my being that still resounds to this day. There is something wonderful and something timeless that happens when one looks into a bamboo grove. That something reaches deep into history, and then it confronts you, looking at you square in the mind. Deep. Reflection deep.

“Dude” I muttered under my breath, “This is awesome”. Words are not enough to capture the beauty of bamboo. A picture commands a thousand words and a conveys a multitude of emotions, so be sure to check out the photos section of this site for Tim’s “buffed” bamboos.

From Tim’s place, I purchased the blue that I was after for so long in my lifetime, and a moso. There also was this other type of striped bamboo that Tim gave to me. It was infected with some type of mosaic virus, so I took them and cut away all the mosaic stuff, and we’ll see how it turns out. Tim, in the words of General Douglass General Douglas MacArthur, “I shall Return!” I just need a bigger truck. Dude, Tim, Thanks again for everything! And, again, for those of you who are interested in bamboo from Tim, email him at:

Next stop: Mel’s place. We sentenced ourselves for some hard labor. I was found guilty of my passion for bamboo. Jeff was an accomplice.
There was a craigslist ad that ran a couple months ago that basically said “free bamboo, just gotta dig it up” it was just a few minutes away from Tim’s place so this was stop #2 for Jeff and Me.

On we go to Mel’s please to go dig up some free bamboo. We pull up, and Mel points out the 2 clums left. Man, you know, now I understand why they use this stuff for erosion control. It was a type of golden bamboo, I just couldn’t identify it. The roots were well established, so we had a fun time excavating. Anyway, Jeff and I were hammerin the thing with a shovel and pick, and still it would not budge. About 30 minutes later, we were able to extract 3 good clums, and we loaded up the van to the brim! We were rollin’ deep in bamboo.

Time to call it the end of a bamboo day. We dropped of the bamboo in Pacifica, where I will be eventually moving to. There’s just no more room on my patio.

I just gotta say this though, that the weather that day was outright WEIRD. It was sunny, it was cloudy, it rained, it hailed, and IT SNOWED.

That Monday, I went over to Pacifica and put the bamboo in pots. I also split another 2 good pots there and ended up with about 5 or 6 more big pots. I have quite a few more bamboo plants to split, I just need more pots and soil! The future of bamboo in my yard is definitely looking bright.

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