This site is intended to assist those wishing to learn about the Bamboo Garden at Foothill College and the bamboo species that are grown in it.
The Bamboo Garden is located on the campus of Foothill College in Northern California, USA. It was established in 1989 with the planting of six Phyllostachys nigra bamboo on a bare hillside below the Japanese Cultural Center. Over the years the garden has grown and now contain over 70 varieties of bamboos and covers an area of two acres. Here the bamboos, many of them not commonly seen in the United States, are being studied for their adaptability to the San Francisco Bay Area climate.
The garden offers the opportunity to observe bamboos from around the world and experience the special environment they create. The garden paths pass by each of the species. Signs identify each of the bamboos and free plant maps are available. In various locations there are benches where one can sit and relax.
Located in the east section of the garden is the Azumaya or meditation pavilion (pictured above). It was crafted by students at the International College of Crafts and Arts in Toyama, Japan, and gifted to the garden in 1998.
Hours and Admission
The garden is a public space that is open to anyone who would like to visit it from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free, but two dollars in quarters is required for campus parking.
Foothill College is located in the community of Los Altos Hills (approximately 35 miles south of San Francisco). To get to the campus take Interstate Highway 280 to the El Monte Road west exit and follow the signs to the campus. The garden is located on the southwest corner of the campus, adjacent to Parking Lot 6.
The garden is maintained by volunteers and is sustained by private donations. Work on the garden is ongoing, and additional projects are planned. We welcome your support.
If you would like to volunteer to work in the garden or share your expertise, please contact Gordon Holler, Garden Curator, at (408) 255-4085. Tax deductible contributions can be made to the Foothill College Bamboo Garden Fund, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA, 94022.
For questions about bamboo, we recommend contacting the American Bamboo Society (ABS). There maybe a local chapter near you. Information about growing bamboo, types of bamboo and their suitability to your local climate, bamboo suppliers, etc. can be found in the ABS online 'Bamboo Species Source List' or the ABS 'Frequently Asked Question' page.