This San Diego yard is verdant––and resists wildfires. Follow its lessons for creating your own gorgeous, fire-smart landscape
A lush, vibrant landsape is every gardeners aim. But what if you live in the middle of wildfire country?
Great news: Your gardening goals don't have to change in high-risk fire areas, just the means by which you plan to reach them.
Before this landscape was reimagined, a thick blanket of worn-out junipers covered the slopes; their resinous foliage is potentially dangerous in a firestorm.
Click ahead for fire-wise tips on what to plant, where to plant it, and how to keep all your garden's charm minus the wildfire threat.
Fleshy-leafed (and water-retaining) plants are good choices for fire-wise gardens.
Dotting the poolside landscape, pictured here, are nearly black aeoniums around a tall tree aloe, plus agaves, and a floss silk tree (Ceiba speciosa)—whose trunk is studded with water-storing prickles.
The more hydrated any plant is, the more fire-resistant it will be. Although the plants in this garden are drought-tolerant, they still need occasional deep watering to keep them from drying out and becoming potential fuel.
Although these trees appear to hug the house—a fire-safety no-no—they don’t actually overhang it. They’re also spaced well apart, and kept well watered and pruned.
In a fire-wise garden, use gravel or decomposed granite—not flammable bark mulch—to cover the bare ground around plants. It also helps keep weeds down and looks better with succulents.