Bushfire safe gardens – points to ponder

CORE DANGER/SAFETY FACTS OF FIRES IN VEGETATION:
• the more dense the vegetation, the more intense the fire.
• the more intense the fire, the more radiant heat, flames & ember shower
• the more radiant heat, flames & embers, the more danger to lives and homes
z Shrubs grown on garage -2

A dangerously cluttered garden

CORE ACTION TO TAKE TO INCREASE SAFETY
THE MORE RADIANT HEAT, FLAMES &EMBER SHOWER
• Have paths between house walls and plants.
• Thin out clutter. Space garden beds.
• Replace flammable mulch with granitic sand, pebbles, or road-metal crushings.
• Populate garden beds with low flammability succulents and vegetables.
• Replace rough barked eucalypts with smooth-barked trees.
• Replace highly flammable native plants with fire resistant species e.g. European deciduous
• Plant dense canopied European deciduous trees near, and on the firewind side of buildings. Such trees absorb sparks and embers and so can protect roof and walls.

Daylesford-Stony Creek Rd -parklike -Small

A well-prepared property, with uncluttered grounds. (Picture © Katherine E. Seppings.)

If you think that replacing ‘native’ gardens with introduced species spoils a fashionable environmental concept – think about whether it is better to spoil that than to spoil lives and townships by having a fire-welcoming garden.

THINK ABOUT THIS
We are an introduced species.
• Our livestock, our pets are introduced species.
• Roads and cars are foreign to the environment.
• Our houses are foreign to the environment.
• Our lifestyle is not ‘native’.
• Why ought their gardens be ‘native’?
• A ‘native’ garden does not keep your property ‘natural’. It keeps it endangered.
• Thoughtful planning, preparation, some changes, and regular maintenance is protective.

REMEMBER
• Bushfire can’t burn what you’ve cut back.
• It can’t burn bare earth or gravel paths.
• It can’t ignite trees if there’s nothing growing under them.
• Fire resistant plants can help keep bushfire at bay.
(The Complete Bushfire Safety Book has an eight-page list – some of which are ‘native’)

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2 Responses to Bushfire safe gardens – points to ponder

  1. peta2015 says:

    A refreshingly, straightforward article about decluttering gardens that will reduce the risk of bushfire attack. Commonsense and easy to try. Reduces maintenance, too.

    Like

  2. River says:

    This was so helpful and easy! Do you have any aretlcis on rehab?

    Hi River. Chapter 15 of my The Complete Bushfire Safety Book “After a Bushfire” deals with care of damaged trees and what help is available. It is obtainable via http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/joan-webster/the-complete-bushfire-safety-book-9781740510349.aspx

    Like

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