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Bamboo pergola for climbing beans

Hi,
in my garden design, I have designed a pergola that is stretching between the borders. It will house the climbing beans. In my original idea, I wanted to do it with copper or plastic installation pipes. But my husband put a veto on it, so I had to find a different solution. And the solution is – bamboo pergola 😀

Needed things for bamboo pergola

8 long 2.5 cm (1″) diameter bamboo canes (240 cm / cca 8′)
20 short and thin bamboo canes (90 cm)
8 medium bamboo canes (200 cm)
strong garden cord

First use smaller (medium) canes or drill with long drill bit to drill the holes in the ground where you will add your vertical bamboo canes. You can also sharpen their points that you will push into ground. Then using the already made guide holes, push the vertical bamboo canes (the long thick ones) into the ground. Try to push the canes so that the knuckles of two bamboo canes are on the same height as much as possible.

Lashing small horizontal bamboo canes

Now we will start lashing the horizontal small canes. This will improve the structure and make it more rugged. I had cut the small bamboo canes in half, since this is the length I needed. There are couple of rules

  • make sure your small canes have at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) on each side free from the outer edge of the vertical canes
  • use enough rope when lashing them to have a sturdy joint
  • try to actually learn japanese square lashing and other bamboo lashing knots.

The last rule is a pretty good one. I tried to make my lashings with square lashing but i messed up. However, they turned out pretty well. Here is how I did it.

  1. pre-cut your cord to some 50cm (cca 16″) pieces
  2. hold the small cane to the big cane with one hand, on the place where you want it latched
  3. with other hand put the cord around the back of the vertical cane and then cross the ends in front and over you small horizontal cane.
  4. cross both ends again in the back, below the horizontal cane.
  5. put one end over and above the horizontal cane and wrap it two to three times around the vertical cane
  6. out other end over and below the horizontal cane and wrap it two to three times around the vertical cane.
  7. then tie the two ends behind the vertical cane
  8. curse if at any point you drop the small horizontal cane and have to start again
  9. Do the same procedure on the other end of the small horizontal cane

Lashing of long horizontal canes to vertical canes

For this bamboo pergola 2 m horizontal canes were enough to bridge the gap. Make sure your horizontal canes are long enough. This is again a bit annoying, cause they like to slip. That’s why I suggest first getting the vertical ones with small horizontal ones finished up. Then use the last horizontal small canes to hold one end of the horizontal long cane while you are lashing the other. Alternative is getting one helping hand to hold the long horizontal canes up while you lash them up.

Again, I deeply suggest checking the japanese techniques for bamboo lashing. They seem to know how to do it correctly. Otherwise you can do it this way:

  1. pre-cut your lashing cord to some 60cm (25″)
  2. put the horizonal long cane up where you want it to cross the vertical one.
  3. hold two canes with one hand and use the other to do the lashing
  4. to start the lashing put the cord behind the vertical cane.
  5. cross the cord over and in front of the horizontal cane.
  6. cross the ends in the back of the vertical cane
  7. round one end two to three times around the vertical cane
  8. the other end should we wrapped to to three times around the horizontal cane
  9. now comes the confusing part – tie the two ends behind the vertical cane
  10. lash the other end of the cane as well

Finish up by putting the small horizontal canes on top of the long horizontal canes. Lash the small ones to long ones in the similar manner that you lashed the small ones to vertical canes.

Extras

I wanted to add some diagonal support for beans as well. I did that with cord. By netting the cord between the opposite corners of square created by horizontal canes. You could also use more small canes and tie them up diagonally to create a similar shape.

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