Well, in my investigations for handy plants to grow bamboo has crossed my mind recently. As a frame/trellis/building material I am most interested in oldhamii and also as a screen and shade provider. The problem? Mediterranean climate. Low rainfall doesn't seem to be the best conditions for bamboo and no doubt giant bamboo would be least suitable. Anyone have any experience growing in these conditions? It can always be overcome but I wouldn't want to be expending water on it at the expense of important food plants.