Monday Gardens and Defensible Space

It’s a fine and clear but cloudy Monday morning. Today we’re going to the SF Gift Show. I hate the gift show.

Anyway, the San Francisco Chronicle tells you how to plant not just plants for your drought tolerant garden, but ones that will be fire-safe in the hills as well. Because it is basically true that if you stop watering your garden, your plants are more likely to provide tinder for a fire. Except for succulents. And a few other plants too.

Keeping the fuel load away from your home – and that means trees, heavy shrubbery, wooden decks and fences – is important, he said, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice privacy and or go without a garden or patio….

Even in drought conditions, a garden maintained with mulching and careful water use can offer a good defense against an encroaching fire, Egbert said….

California native plants are good for the perimeter beyond the cottage garden, where they add to the buffer and attract birds and butterflies, he said, and he favors “low stone walls that host bowls of succulents like ruffled leaf echeverias, blooming sedums and native dudley(a)s.

“Succulents are ideal fire-safe landscape candidates, with their thick water-retentive leaves and often-colorful waxy surfaces. The walls themselves help to reduce the spread of low flames and blowing sparks as permanent firebreaks.”

That was a large excerpt. I hope the writer, Laura Thomas, Chronicle Staff Writer, doesn’t mind.

  Cactus and Succulents
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February 2024

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