A rich, groundbreaking history

About Bamboo Garden

We started growing bamboo in 1980 and joined The American Bamboo Society (ABS) that same year. We helped establish the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the society and have served on the board of directors of both. Ned Jaquith, the late founder of Bamboo Garden, was elected in 2006, as vice president of the ABS and has been awarded Honorary Lifetime Membership due to over 25 years of whole-hearted efforts and extensive bamboo knowledge. He was one of the most significant bamboo growers, collectors, and promoters of our time. We are very fortunate to be able to continue the nursery operation, Bamboo Garden, and provide the same level of service, expertise, and enthusiasm for bamboo as our founder.

About our team

Noah Bell has managed the Bamboo Garden nursery since 2004. His bamboo photos and articles have been published by the ABS and German Bamboo Society (EBS), Paul Whitaker's book: Practical Bamboos, as well as Bamboo by Susanne Lucas. Noah is responsible for overseeing the production of about 300 different types of bamboo, maintaining our 20-acre nursery, and providing positive direction for our staff. He is currently the President of the PNW Chapter of the American Bamboo Society.

Additionally, we are fortunate to have Penelope Costley, Niki Atterbury, Anna Foleen, and Peter Berglund as our bamboo consultants along with sales, marketing, and design staff. Reveriano Ramirez, Isaias Ramirez, Teresa Lopez, and extended family have been contributing their expertise to bamboo propagation, irrigation, and field work, for over 15 years now and are the backbone of Bamboo Garden.

Bamboo Garden Crew!

Our bamboo vision

Diversity

Vast and varied selection of quality bamboo plants.

Instruction

Personal service to make the best bamboo choice.

Maintenance

Long term bamboo success in the field and landscape.

Community

Supporting local organizations, gardens, and people.

Sustainability

Cultivating a sustainable future.
Learn more about our history

Our work

We specialize in hardy clumping species, as well as hardy giant timber bamboos, and have been at the forefront of introducing new species into the horticulture trade. We have supplied bamboo for many large commercial landscaping projects including Tacoma Zoo, Portland Classical Chinese Garden, Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon Zoo, Wellesley College in MA, Wayne Morse Courthouse in Eugene, OR, Asia Trail of National Zoo in Washington DC, Shangri La Project in Vancouver, BC, and many others. We work closely with landscaping companies, providing healthy and beautiful bamboo for commercial and residential landscapes, locally and afar.

Browse bamboo

Our mission

Customer Service

Personal service and customer satisfaction is our specialty. We strive to educate people so that they can grow and maintain bamboo effectively, responsibly, and proactively. Our bamboo experts present the best bamboo choices for each customer based on a careful discussion of the project. We always put our customers’ needs first in this important process and take the time to answer all questions thoroughly and accurately. Secondly, we teach growers what to expect from their bamboo in the years to follow planting. This includes resources for maintenance and growth planning. Long-term success with bamboo is our goal as much as it should be for each new grower. We lean on many years of experience and meticulous attention to detail to assure that customers make the best bamboo selection. We use organically inclined methods of cultivation to produce our bamboo stock.

Community Engagement

We support the American Bamboo Society, the Oregon Association of Nurseries, the Ned Jaquith Foundation, and The International Plant Propagators Society. We also donate bamboo to support local schools and garden clubs in our community, as well as the Lan Su Chinese Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden for their annual plant sales or display gardens.

With respect to the late founder of Bamboo Garden, Ned Jaquith, we invite and welcome all to our space, and hope to inspire visitors of our nursery and website!

Honoring Ned Jaquith

Founder of Bamboo Garden

Ned’s contributions to bamboo horticulture were recognized by the American Bamboo Society as he was granted the rare honor of a Lifetime Membership award. His knowledge, generosity, and service continue to permeate the American and international bamboo communities and we’re honored to continue his legacy as stewards of bamboo education and horticulture.

1939-2012

Author of Bamboo for Gardens, Ted Jordan Meredith, said this about Ned and Bamboo Garden:

Owner Ned Jaquith, an ardent bamboo enthusiast, has introduced countless people to the world of bamboo and served as a mentor to countless more—myself included. Nothing seems to please Ned more than introducing another person to bamboo. His welcoming enthusiasm carries through to the Bamboo Garden’s knowledgeable staff, who are adept at discussing bamboo with experts and novices alike. - Bamboo for Gardens

Here are a few ways to learn more and honor Ned’s legacy:

Read stories about Ned

We compiled a collection of personal stories about Ned from family, friends, and colleagues. These stories serve as reminders of Ned’s insatiable curiosity and passion for bamboo and the community that shared in his interests.

If you’d like to purchase the book as a tax-deductible donation to the Ned Jaquith Foundation, contact the nursery.

Support the Ned Jaquith Foundation

Help educate the next generation of bamboo experts with a donation to the Ned Jaquith Foundation. The foundation supports and encourages science or culture-based bamboo research projects in order to fortify the knowledge of bamboo.

Learn more about Ned’s Legacy

Bamboo Garden Nursery's Ned Jaquith remembered for his knowledge and generosity - The Oregonian

Remembering Ned Jaquith at the Bamboo Garden in North Plains - The Oregonian

Our Timeline

Pick a Decade

'76

Ned moved to Portland, OR from southern California, bringing with him a division of bamboo. Not knowing it was a tropical type, it perished over the first winter.

'80

Ned’s lifelong interest in bamboo began at a plant sale in Pasadena, CA by the Friends of Huntington Garden, where he met then-president of the newly formed American Bamboo Society, Richard Haubrich. Ned joined the ABS and brought several types of bamboo with him back to Oregon.

'81-'83

Through trial, error, and advice from friends in the ABS, Ned discovered which new bamboos would thrive in the climate of the Pacific Northwest and his backyard in SE Portland. He read and collected every book he could find about bamboo, and formed the new PNW chapter of the ABS with his friend, Daphne Lewis. They held their first meeting in Tacoma, WA. Daphne became the first chapter president and Ned the first vice president.

'84

Ned founded Bamboo Garden. He based our namesake on the book “The Bamboo Garden'' by A.B. Freeman-Mitford, written in 1896. He rented a two-acre lot and an old greenhouse to grow bamboo starts in Milwaukie, OR, and began selling them at local garden club meetings (or to whoever was interested). People doubted Ned would find success, but that didn’t deter his enthusiasm. Ned was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the ABS and attended the 1st International Bamboo Conference in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. He met many new bamboo growers and important bamboo nurserymen, such as Wolfgang Eberts of Bambus Centrum in Germany and Yves Corset of the famous 100+-year-old garden and bamboo nursery, La Bambouseraie, in southern France.

'85-'93

Propelled by newfound inspiration, Ned spent many long days, weeks, and years collecting, planting, and propagating bamboo, giving talks around the Portland area, and gradually developing the fledgling bamboo business. He made connections with others in the horticultural industry and the Bamboo Society. The groves matured in the Milwaukie, OR location, hidden behind Mary Jean's Flower Shop. New species and cultivars of bamboo were introduced. Ned and his circle of friends and partners, Rick Valley and Jed Doty, among others, became the local beacon of bamboo knowledge. The American Bamboo Society grew in membership and enthusiasm, forming several new chapters across the US.

'94

Ned Jaquith and many other new bamboo growers attended the first PNW Bamboo Agroforestry Workshop organized by Gib Cooper in Gold Beach, OR. With participation from over 100 attendees, the concept of using bamboo as an agroforestry crop as well as a nursery product was further conceptualized. Bamboo farming began to gain serious consideration by many people.

'95

With dreams of expanding into a true garden/nursery, Ned purchased 16 acres of forested hillside and valley in North Plains, OR, which is the site of our present-day nursery. Although it would take nine years before we were able to move the business completely to this site, we began field planting groves after logging sections of the forest. Ned attended the Professional Bamboo Growers Conference and ABS meeting in the American bamboo heartland, Savannah, GA.

'96

By this time, Bamboo Garden had amassed a collection of over 200 different species and cultivars of bamboo, most of them tucked into our small 2 acre rental nursery. Many exciting new species of clumping bamboo were established in our greenhouses. Bamboo gradually gained more popularity in the gardening world as well as American culture. During this time, Ned hired a young horticulturist, Kerri Flemmons, to help manage the nursery operation.

'97

The second PNW Bamboo Agroforestry Workshop was held in Port Townsend, WA. The event had a remarkable turn out, fueling the surge in bamboo enthusiasm locally and nationally. Ned Jaquith was considered by many in attendance to be the regional “bamboo guru” and was one of the featured lecturers, speaking about his fascination with bamboo and their mysterious flowering process. Kerri helped refine the operations systems and bamboo production at Bamboo Garden resulting in increased sales, while Ned continued to give tours and presentations.

'98

Bamboo Garden became recognized nationally as one of the premier mail-order bamboo specialty nurseries, and an early rendition of our catalog was featured in Martha Stewart Living. We began to gain notoriety as a wholesale source of quality bamboo, shipping large orders across the country. Ned hired Reveriano Ramirez to be the foreman in the field for bamboo digging, planting, and maintenance.

'99

Bamboo Garden launched the first phase of our website and became a digital source for bamboo knowledge and photos, attracting a wide range of site visitors and customers. Bamboo Garden had our first bamboo display at the popular Farwest trade show organized by the Oregon Association of Nurseries. Ned hired Teresa Lopez to focus on irrigation and propagation. By this time, a large area had been cleared and prepared for bamboo planting at our North Plains acreage, in addition to gravel roads and two ponds created in the valley. Bamboo Garden donated many large specimens of P. edulis Moso for the creation of the beautiful Lan Su Chinese Garden, in Portland.

'00

During one of Ned's tours of bamboo nurseries in England, he met horticulturist Ian Connor, who he asked to travel back to the US and work for Bamboo Garden. Ned became president of the PNW chapter of the American Bamboo Society. He gave a special bamboo presentation at the Far West Show and Bamboo Garden became a regular vendor every August. The P. edulis 'Moso' planted at Ned and Nancy's home reached an astonishing height of nearly 40 feet, the largest yet recorded in the PNW.

'01

Ned traveled to Chile with friend, Mike Remmick, in search of hardy clumping bamboo in the genus of Chusquea. Bamboo Garden and the PNW Chapter of the ABS hosted the annual bamboo conference where our nursery was one of the primary tour destinations featured in the national event. That year, Ned also hired young bamboo enthusiast, Noah Bell, to assist with nursery sales and bamboo propagation. Progress was made at our North Plains location, as the first field plantings began to mature and construction plans for a state of the new green house were made. Mail order bamboo increased and our spring sales were the highest yet recorded. Kerri Flemmons created bamboo landscaping business, Canes Keeper, working in conjunction with Bamboo Garden, while Ian Connor took over management duties at the nursery.

'02

Bamboo popularity continued to climb as Bamboo Garden introduced new varieties into cultivation. Construction of the facilities at North Plains took place under Ned's direction, with Bob Landry and sons in charge of assembly. Office and shipping warehouse, new Cravo retractable greenhouse, irrigation piping, and many areas to store containerized bamboo were built from the ground up. Bamboo Garden opens a secondary retail location within Cistus Design Nursery on Sauvie Island with plant legend, Sean Hogan.

'03

With new facilities in place, Bamboo Garden began the long process of digging most of our bamboo from the Milwaukie site and transplanting to the North Plains location. Ned recruited bamboo enthusiast and “super-hauler” Dain Sansome to assist with the massive bamboo migration. Bamboo Garden received a large wholesale order to supply several thousand ground cover bamboo for the innovative new landscape design at Wellesley College, as a result of our friendship with bamboo specialist and president of the ABS, Susanne Lucas. Ned was awarded honorary lifetime membership by the American Bamboo Society in recognition of his generosity, enthusiasm, and knowledge.

'04

Shaking off the dust from a massively snowy winter, we closed the nursery in Milwaukie and began a new era, making the final push to move the whole operation to the 16 acre facility in North Plains. Noah Bell takes over management of the nursery at the new location while Ian and Kerri pursue other interests. With lots of open space to grow bamboo, Ned planted many new trial species around the hillside and valley of Bamboo Garden. Despite the arduous moving process, spring sales at the new location were excellent and bamboo production increased for the years to follow. We purchased several golf carts to give customer tours and efficiently move about the nursery. We started construction of our second large scale greenhouse, a Jonkman style system, which doubled our total protected space, keeping the new bamboo safe from the winter elements.

'05

Finally closing the doors to the old location, we focused all of our energy on developing the new 16-acre site into a full-scale nursery. Through careful planning, we were able to remain open year-round, which paved the way for a dramatic increase in propagation of bamboo during the long winters, along with full time employment for our core group. Some of our early bamboo groves reached mature heights and were able to produce bamboo large enough to fill 100 gallon containers, exceeding 30 feet in height, to be used in commercial landscape projects. Fargesia murielae went into full flower and Bamboo Garden collects and germinates thousands of seeds. Ned and Noah launched a new phase of website design, using many photographs from our bamboo collection and local landscapes. Our website became internationally known as a bamboo information resource.

'06

Bamboo Garden supplied over 30 species of bamboo for the Asia Trail Project, an ambitious design by the Smithsonian for the National Zoo in Washington, DC. The total order fills two and a half, 53-foot semi trucks with bamboo, our largest order to date. The pandas and sun bears were undoubtedly very happy. Spring wholesale and retail orders were the highest yet recorded. Ned took a bamboo tour in Europe, visiting many famous gardens and collectors while Noah maintains the nursery operation. Bamboo Garden supplies 875x 10 gallon Chusquea culeou for the Wayne Morse Courthouse in Eugene OR. A new introduction from Chile, C. culeou breaks ground for commercial landscape design. The ABS national convention is held in Hawaii and Ned takes an exciting bamboo tour with his close friends.

'07

Bamboo Garden provided over two-hundred 25 to 30-foot tall Phyllostachys for the Shangri La Project in Vancouver BC. It took two 53 foot trailers and a creative loading strategy to safely transport all of our timber bamboo to the jobsite in Canada. The bamboo design is visually stunning, planted along a large metal and glass skyscraper; the tallest new building in British Columbia. Bamboo Garden began expansion of the upper warehouse and builds a lower barn and kitchen for employees. Clumping bamboo becomes more accepted as a low maintenance alternative to the larger running type bamboos. Fargesia robusta gains recognition as a premier clumping bamboo screen. Noah Bell designs and installs the Sound Barrier Project; a 600 foot bamboo screen to be used to muffle the traffic noise for three residences in Portland. Ned gives a bamboo presentation for the International Plant Propagators Society in Salem, OR. Intense rain in December causes minor flooding in the nursery as the creek breaches its bank. The flow resides leaving behind a large muddy mess, but all things considered, our actual plant losses are minimal.

'08

Ned and several bamboo friends go on an ABS sponsored tour to Ecuador to see giant Guadua Bamboo and experience the local culture. Now with a total staff of 15 people, Bamboo Garden continues to grow and flourish. During the spring rush, customers visit the nursery from nearby Portland, and even from places as far away as Japan. Wholesale spring orders are the highest yet recorded. New shipping techniques and connections enable us to provide nearly any size bamboo to any location in the lower 48 and Canada. Our unique style: quality plants, diversity (including many rare bamboos), and friendly, knowledgeable service keep customers engaged and coming back. Paul James of HGTV, films an episode at Bamboo Garden in which Noah gives a tour of the nursery and talks about interesting bamboos and propagation techniques. With help from bamboo sculptor and friend, Charissa Brock, Bamboo Garden produces a new full color catalog. Author, Ted Meredith, takes many photos of our groves for his new bamboo book, Pocket Guide for Bamboos. The winter would bring more snow than we had seen in a decade, collapsing one of our smaller greenhouses and shutting down the nursery for several days. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy!

'09

Thinning and cleaning up many groves after the major snow storm, Bamboo Garden created a system for storing, higrading, and selling our home grown bamboo canes. Our groves reach mature size, allowing for a sustainable harvest each summer and winter. Oregon grown “Black Bamboo” and the beautifully mottled 'Bory' become especially sought after. In February we have our first display at the Yard Garden Patio Show in Portland. At the Portland Bamboo Festival, Noah gives a presentation about useful new introductions of clumping type bamboos. Once again, the PNW Chapter of the ABS hosts the bamboo conference in Tacoma, WA. Long time friends and horticultural influences, Mike Bell and Whitney Adams, travel from afar to give presentations at the conference. We provide bamboo for the Altaire Project in the Bay Area; a detailed, bamboo centric plan, featuring over 25 different species with many different colors and textures. This project was a unique design that was installed in three phases from 2008 through 2010, tapping our resources to their full potential. An arctic blast unlike anything we had seen before hovers over the PNW for about 10 days in December, during which many bamboos met their untimely fate.

'10

After a lengthy clean up from the winter, we compile new data of bamboo hardiness and share with the ABS and others. Many Borinda types were top killed. Ken Tomita and team from “Grove” have a photo shoot at Bamboo Garden with models for their new bamboo iPhone cases. Bamboo Garden wins an award for our display booth at the Farwest Show, designed by Anna Foleen with cane border constructed by artist, Charissa Brock. Author Paul Whitaker uses Noah's bamboo photos in his new book: Practical Bamboos. Ned and Noah tour to USDA bamboo heartland, Savannah GA for the Fall ABS conference. For over 60 years, the USDA used the property in Savannah for importing new species of bamboo for test trials. Many of the old groves remain there for educational purposes, managed by the University of GA.

'11

Portland Parks and Recreation horticulturists tour Bamboo Garden and are taught the methods of bamboo pruning and maintenance by Noah and Matt. An idea is further discussed about creating a public bamboo grove in one of Portland's Parks. Noah is a guest on “In the Garden” radio show by local gardening personality, Mike Darcy. Oregon Public Broadcasting films Oregon Field Guide at Bamboo Garden focusing on local grad student Andrea Melnychenko's research with bamboo bio emissions, while Noah shows the nursery in front of the camera. Ned and Noah give a presentation about Bamboo Flowering, collecting, and sewing seeds at Portland Bamboo Festival. 2011 is an amazing year for bamboo flowering. We observe and record 11 different species producing seed in and around the Portland area. Bamboo Garden ships an entire truck load of bamboo to create a 900 foot bamboo screen for private residence in PA. Ned, Noah, Anna, and many other ABS members tour the 100 year old Moso Groves on Avery Island LA, during the national ABS conference, while under great southern hospitality of Andy Ringle and LA Chapter of the ABS.

'12

Ned goes to the World Bamboo Organization conference and gives a presentation about Bamboo Garden for the attendants in Belgium. Traveling with close friends, James Clever, and Susanne Lucas, Ned has a great trip, touring several rare bamboo gardens. Bamboo Garden ships 1000 divisions of clumping bamboo (Fargesia rufa) to a wholesale customer in Quebec. We create a 20 x 20 bamboo display island for the Farwest Show. The show is a great success and we sell all the plants in our booth to a local gardener. As a complete shock to everyone, Ned is diagnosed with cancer in July, and despite the best efforts from local doctors and immense support from friends and family, Ned passes on September 26th. As the business and American Bamboo Society mourn the loss of a great contributor to modern bamboo horticulture and close friend to many, we recognize Ned's life achievements and honor his passing. The Japanese Garden has an art exhibit dedicated to Ned, featuring Charissa Brock's bamboo sculptures. Truly a great organization supporting many families, Ned wanted the business, Bamboo Garden, to continue after his passing. Now with 18 staff members, Bamboo Garden is led by Noah and Ned's wife, Nancy Oberschmidt. Members of the ABS and Bamboo Garden start the non-profit Ned Jaquith Foundation to support further bamboo research and knowledge, while commemorating Ned's legacy.

'13

After a long winter, the spring sales are excellent. Bamboo Garden further refines our pallet shipping system, enabling us to send large bamboos to most anywhere in the country with fast turnaround time. Bamboo Garden supplies the bamboo for the St. Louis Zoo project, where a bamboo screen over 1,000 feet long is being created. On July 13th we host a memorial for Ned; over 120 people come from all parts of the country and even overseas. The event was a great success and emotional release for many old friends in bamboo. Bringing everyone together to celebrate Ned's life was a perfect way to see him off. The future looks bright for bamboo...

Visit Our Garden