Thursday, August 13, 2009

Garden Design in Bushfire Zones

I've been looking at the amount of information available to gardeners wanting to restart their gardens after the devastation of Black Saturday earlier this year. At first it seemed there wasn't a lot out there but the more I delved the more I have found. There is a lot of information about the new building regulations and how to build a bushfire resistant house, but you have to dig deeper to find anything but the most general mention usually consisting of "keep trees a safe distance from the house". There is a great book I got to look at called "Landscape and Building Design for Bushfire Areas" by Caird Ramsay and Lisle Rudolph put out in 2003 by CSIRO Publishing. It takes quite an indepth look at how the house should relate to the immediate landscape and the landscape beyond the garden fence. The NGIV (Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria) has also put out a terrific document called "Rebuilding Safer Communities" available on their website at and the SGA (Sustainable Gardening Australia) have some great info as well at and more information may well be in the pipeline in the future from a few other sources.
A bushfire resistant garden is a lot more than no trees, inorganic mulches and no flammable plants. It would be worthwhile for every gardener in a bushfire zone (not just those rebuilding) to have a good look at these resources. Summer is not far away.

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