The extraordinary foliage of Sasa veitchii -- Silver-edge Bamboo from Japan -- puts on its best show after hard frost. The edges of the leaves turn ash gray in a neat, 1/2in band, and retain this stunning variegation (actually the killing of the pigment by frost) throughout the winter until new leaves form in spring. Restrain this variety in the usual ways, but don't be without it.
Bamboos are members of the Grass family. They are found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world today, but some are surprisingly hardy here and worth growing for the unusual effects of their foliage and stems. The roots of the clumping varieties won't take over your garden.