If there is one thing the Western Cape is known for is wild fires. And I need not mention how our temperatures have risen making this threat more prevalent. Naturally occurring, these can have devastated results on not only our landscapes but homes to. What most might not know is that’s there’s ways of designing around this natural phenomena. However one should keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a fire proof plants. But with an effective landscape designer by your side, you can design in such a manner that mitigates this issue.
Below we will be exploring the different way to secure your home.
This is vital to start off with as aspects of your property play a huge role in how vulnerable you are. Even compared to your neighbor. Matters such as being on a strong south-easterly wind position or being up on a slope play a huge role. For example, fires tend to be attracted to higher points. Bringing in a landscaper to do a site analysis of your site is worth the investment.
Create fire fueling breaks:
This is the introduction of areas that restrict the fire to specific locations, giving way for people to move, a chance to bring the flames to an end and or protect the house till help can arrive. Some great examples include pathways, pavements, ponds and pools.
Introduce Pioneer plants to your landscaping:
These are plants that will be the first to pop up after a disruption to an ecosystem has occurred, ensuring a continued ecosystem and bring about a balance through initial succession.
Yes we all love a lush leafy evergreen landscape throughout the year but this poses a danger to fire prone areas. Evergreens composition will tend to contain oils, resins and wax. These are highly flammable contents which are rare to find in deciduous trees.
Aim for ground level:
In terms of your plant selection, the lower growing plants are your best bet, as these can also play a role as fire fuel breaks. In terms of shrubs and trees, going low is still a better option as these help elevate flames as mentioned above, fire is attracted to high points and having them positioned closer to your home makes them pose an even bigger risk .
In a landscapers design, planed placement and selection of your plants can help mitigate ignition, lower intensity and reduce spread of fires.
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We at village gardens have a knowledge of all of your local edible plants here in South Africa. We can happily plant up your garden with edibles of all varieties from Mediterranean herbs and local indigenous edibles. We are surrounded by such stunning hardy indigenous plants, let’s get back to nature and have our own garden of local goodness.