Pitt White is an Edwardian family house on the site of an old textile mill that sadly burnt down in the late 1800's alongside the river Lym in Uplyme, Devon.

Within the grounds of the house is an established bamboo garden, once housing the largest collection of bamboo in Europe with over 50 species.
Today the current garden is smaller than the original, but still hosts around 10 species of bamboo. It is the plan of Pitt White Bamboo to maintain the current species and through the active management of this fast growing plant produce a range of ecofriendly and sustainable products.

Initially the focus was on producing reuseable bamboo straws to help fight the need for plastic straws due to their environmental damage.

Pitt White Bamboo Garden

Examples of bamboo within the garden

There are round 10 different species of bamboo in the garden including both clumping and runners.

The information below is taken from "Bamboos. A Gardener's Guide to their Cultivation in Temperate Climates" by A. H. Lawson who was head gardener at Pitt White when 50 specifies were established. At the time the home was owned by Dr Nathan Mutch

  1. A. nitida
    A. nitida
    This Chinese variety is known as the "Queen of the Arundinaria' as its leaves are so graceful.
  2. B.quadrangularis
    Our square bamboo, is incredibly strong and grows to 10ft. This striking bamboo is currently being used as walking and hiking sticks and being considered for use in high quality knives.
  3. P. bambusoides
    P. bambusoides
    A Japanese variety with striking brown, black or dark purple rings under the nodes. Being used for beautiful, gloss finished milkshake and daiquiri straws
  4. P. nigra
    P. nigra
    Can produce solid black canes and grows to 20ft. This stunning species grows along the river Lim and whilst there is not a huge amount it is very thick and a lovely colour
  1. A. japonica
    A. japonica
    Sometimes known as the 'arrow' bamboo. It is the hardiest of the Arundinaria and most widely planted. Grows to 20 ft tall
  2. A. niitakayamensis
    A. niitakayamensis
    A Pitt White clone growing to 32 foot
  3. A. simonii
    A. simonii
    There are several clumps of A. simonii within the garden.
  4. S. veitchii
    S. veitchii
    This is a hardy dwarf species from Japan growing to 3 - 4 ft tall

Bamboo Straw Prepartion

All our bamboo straws are grown here in the garden of our house in Uplyme. The bamboo is hand selected, ensuring it is the right diameter to be made into straws. The bamboo is then cut by hand using the Japanese hand saw, shown on the right, before being cured and dried. Each straw is then finished including being sanded at both ends to look and feel nice to use.