A lot of homeowners who love the beauty of the outdoors appreciate having a lush and vibrant garden. If you happen to be one of them and you’ve just moved to a new home, it is likely that you’re planning to create a garden that is all your own. But what if your new place is seated in the middle of a wildfire region? How do you create a garden that is fire-retardant?
Luckily, it’s possible for you to have a garden and enjoy its charm without worrying about the threat of wildfire. Things such as picking the right plants, creating zones and using the right hardscaping materials can go a long way to ensure that fire will not ravage your garden and, more importantly, your home. Continue reading to learn some tips on how you can design a wildfire-proof garden.
Choose fire-retardant plants
When designing your garden, one of the most essential things you need to keep in mind is to choose plants that have high resistance to burning. Fire-resistant plants are those that don’t easily ignite from a flame. Although they can be killed by fire, their stems and foliage don’t contribute to the fuel and fire’s intensity.
Fleshy-leafed and water retaining plants such as agave are known to absorb the heat of approaching fire without burning. They can thrive in most types of soil as long as they are provided with good drainage. They also require modest amount of water and fertilizer, making them easy to maintain. Other notable plants that resist ignition and can trap burning embers and sparks include iceplant, aloe, rockrose and shrubs like currant, bush honey suckles, hedging roses and sumac, just to name a few.
Arrange vegetation properly
Aside from picking fire-resistant plants and using them in conjunction with other greenery, it is critically important to plant them away from your house and at a sensible distance from each other. Doing this will help in slowing down the travel of a fire through more flammable plants and near your home. Proper plant spacing also reduces the risk of the so-called ‘fire ladders’ or those fires that climb to the crowns of surrounding trees.
Cover bare ground with non-flammable materials
In designing a fire-smart garden, resist the urge to use decorative bark mulch to cover bare ground as this material is highly flammable. Instead, opt for natural non-flammable materials such as decomposed granite or gravel. This material can also keep weeds down, which are known to contribute to the intensity of a fire.
Include fire buffer zones
Fire buffer zones are only necessary when your property is near a lot of bushland, though they can also be used to increase the aesthetics of the garden. These zones are made of materials that don’t readily burn and act as barriers to flame. They include stone walls, lawns, paved areas and pathways.
Basically, when designing a garden or adding landscape around your home, don’t just focus on creating a space that is aesthetically pleasing. If you live in a region that is susceptible to wildfires, it is more important to go for a garden design that will minimize the fire hazard around your home.
This article was penned by one of the regular contributors of Home Coatings, a company that provides a full range of roof- and wall-related solutions for clients throughout Scotland and the North of England. Their top notch services include roof and wall coatings, roof repair and replacement, wall restoration and insulation and penetrating damp treatments.