Monday, 25 May 2009

Marvelous Bamboo;

Bambusa; its many uses.

This is a fairly long post about bamboo. I have only scratched the surface for information. It will play an even bigger role in the future for a sustainable eco friendly material. Perhaps one day we drive in Bamboo cars powered by water!

My daughter and son in law have planted many clumping Bamboos in their garden. It is amazing how quickly they grow. Bamboo comes in many sizes. It looks majestic, graceful, elegant; it is hard to find a word which would not suit to describe this marvelous plant in every aspect.
A few of the many they have planted as ornamentales;
Timor black
China gold
Budda's belly
Ghost Bamboo and many more.

Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on Earth; it has been measured surging skyward as fast as 121 cm (47.6 inches) in a 24-
hour period,[6] and can also reach maximal growth rate exceeding one meter (39 inches) per hour for short periods of time. Many prehistoric bamboos exceeded heights of 75 meters (250 feet). Primarily growing in regions of warmer climates during the Cretaceous, vast fields existed in what is now Asia.

Unlike trees, all bamboos grow to full height and girth in a single growing season of 3–4 months. During this first year the young shoots strike skyward supported by photosynthesis from the rest of the clump with no time to sprout their own branches and leaves.
Over the next year the pulpy wall of each culm slowly dries and hardens, sprouting branches and leaves during the second year from juvenile sheathes that form from each node. Over the following year the culm hardens still further shedding its juvenile sheaths and commencing its life as a fully mature culm. over the next 2–5 years depending on species, fungus and mould begin to form on the outside of the culm, eventually penetrating and overcoming the culm so that by around 5 – 8 years depending on species and climate the culms begin to collapse and decay.
This brief life means culms are ready for harvest and suitable for use in construction from 3-5 or 7 years.

Bambusa is one of the common species used to create the pulp and yarns that go in to clothing and textiles. Bamboo has a unique and naturally occurring anti-microbial agent called "bamboo kun". This gives the bamboo fibers inherent antibacterial properties that help fight odors. Other fabrics have to apply chemicals to achieve this. In addition to the antibacterial characteristics, bamboo fabrics have other unique benefits that make it really special:• Soft and luxuriously silky like cashmere – even softer than Pima cotton - you have to touch it!• Natural UV protection (blocks 98% harmful rays)• Thermal and breathable – this means you stay warmer when it's cold and cooler when it's hot (2-3° cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter)• Absorbs and wicks away moisture – bamboo cloth is highly absorbent, up to four times more than cotton• Anti-static• Strong and durable• Hypo-allergenic• 100% biodegradable, decomposes naturally (does not produce methane gasses when decomposing)

Bamboo is used in Chinese medicine for treating infections.It is also used for healing. It is also a low calorie source of potassium. It has also been known for its sweet taste and good source of nutrients and protein. In
Ayurveda, the Indian system of traditional medicine, the silicious concretion found in the culms of the bamboo stem is called banslochan. It is known as tabashir or tawashir in Unani-Tibb the Indo-Persian system of Medicine. In English this concretion is called "bamboo manna". This concretion is said to be a tonic for the respiratory diseases. This concretion, which was earlier obtained from Melocanna bambusoides is very hard to get now and has been largely replaced by synthetic silcic acid. In most Indian literature, Bambusa arundinacea is described as the source of bamboo manna. (Puri, 2003).

Besides its use as a construction material, it is also used for fencemaking, bridges, toilets, walking sticks, canoes, tableware, decorative artwork carving, furniture, chopsticks, food steamers, toys, bicycles, hats, and martial arts weaponry, including fire arrows, flame throwers and rockets. Also, abaci and various musical instruments such as the dizi, xiao, shakuhachi, palendag, jinghu, angklung, it can also be used in building tree forts that can hold a normal child's body weight. The Bamboo Organ of Las Piñas, Philippines has pipes made of bamboo culms. Bamboo is the traditional material used for fly fishing rods.
When bamboo is harvested for wood, care is needed to select mature stems that are several years old, as first-year stems, although full sized, are not fully developed and are not as strong as more mature stems.
Bamboo has gained increasing popularity in the culinary world as a material for cutting boards, as they are hard enough to withstand years of knife abuse, yet more forgiving to the knife blade, causing less damage to the edged utensils over time.
Most recently, Smock, a letterpress print shop in Syracuse, New York has created a completely sustainable bamboo paper. Free of pesticides or fertilizer and is harvested from areas in Thailand where no traditional or civil rights are violated.

Bamboo can also be used in IT and electronics products. In 2008, Taiwanese hardware producer
Asus launched the first ever laptop with an outer casing made from bamboo.[18] The laptop is marketed in France as being écolo.

Soft bamboo shoots, stems, and leaves are the major food source of the Giant Panda of China.

Source Wikipedia and others.
Photos TS.

I hope you enjoyed to read about Bamboo. Have a nice day.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Mandarine; Citrus reticulata;

In our orchard the mandarins are ripening. The first ones were the Clementines which are smooth, very sweet tasting fruits without pips. We grow different varieties. This one peels easily, has a fine mandarine taste, quite a bit of fibre and a few pips.

The Mandarin orange, also known as mandarin or mandarine, is a small citrus tree (Citrus reticulata) with fruit resembling the orange. The fruit is oblate, rather than spherical. Mandarin oranges are usually eaten plain, or in fruit salads. Specifically reddish orange mandarin cultivars can be marketed as tangerines, but this is not a botanical classification.
The tree is more drought tolerant than the fruit. The mandarin is tender, and is damaged easily by cold. It can be grown in tropical and subtropical areas.

Medicinal uses
The dried peel of the fruit of C. reticulata is used in the regulation of
ch'i in Traditional Chinese medicine
The peel is also used to treat
abdominal distention, enhance digestion, and to reduce phlegm.

Source Wikipedia

Have a nice day!

Photos TS.

Monday, 4 May 2009

A rose called Tzigane... Gypsy;

Climbing rose Tzigane is in every aspect a very much wanted rose.
Its sweet fragrance redolent of warmth, sunny, happy days and sweet memories.
Even the buds are deeply scented. The colour, coral and gold, changes with the seasons.
In spring the colours are much stronger.
This rose is at every stage attractive. The faded flowers, gracefully let the petals fall.
This rose grows well from Zone 6
Large flowered
Meilland 1951
The Rose Family
The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple's a rose,
And the pear is,
and so's The plum, I suppose.
The dear only know
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose--
But were always a rose.
Robert Frost