With the rampant droughts that have been harming big parts of the world, looking into firescaping of your garden is getting closer to be a necessity. What is firescaping? Well firescaping is a specific way to plant plants in your garden that can guard against fires. This practice includes surrounding your house with fire-resistant plants and designing your garden in a way so there is a barrier between your house and bushes, grasses and other highly flammable vegetation. As a resident of California you are in the prime fire country and should seriously consider planning your garden to cope with the danger.
How to get started
The first step to fireproofing your garden is planning and to know you do not have to compromise aesthetically. This technique is also known as creating a defensible space. First part of the planning is to choose your fire-resistant plant.
Many plants in the wild have to be able to withstand the threat of wildfires and these plants are your best friends when firescaping. You will have to fight the urge to go with the traditional “evergreens and ornamental grass” combo, because this will only increase your chances of fire. Many evergreens contain resin and different oils, which only helps to feed a rampant fire and worsen the situation. Instead you should find plants with high moisture levels such as deciduous trees. It is further advised not to plant any flammable plants within a 30 foot radius of your house.
Finding the right plants are one thing, another is the layout of your garden. When doing the landscaping you should use spaces as driveways and patios to you advantage. These kinds of spaces usually do not involve plants and can be places strategically to encase different areas and contain the spread of fire. Just remember to avoid bark mulch and to use gravel in these spaces as not to defeat the fire-resistant purpose.
Of cause getting any kind of water feature is going to up the fire security around your garden, both because water do not catch fire, but most importantly because it gives you water right one hand if the fire should hit you.
You might think that bare ground is a good way to go when fire proofing, but bare ground is rarely advised, since the possibility of erosion is too high with bare ground. Gravels and inorganic mulches are your friends.
If you want to protect some flower especially well, try making high build flowerbeds. High flowerbeds works as small islands in your garden by keeping it isolated from the grass beneath and usually away from overhanging foliage.
At last, maybe the most important of these advises, keep it tidy. Always remember to get rid of any flammable materials within at least a 30 feet radius of the house, garage or other structures. Here we are talking things such as dry leafs, cardboard scraps, firewood or various building material. Furthermore, if you keep propane, kerosene or something like this for heating, create a barrier between the fuel containers and the rest of you garden. Stay safe.