Getting Bush Fire Ready!

It’s always a good job getting the garden cleared and looking a little more loved. But for us it is an annual “must-do”.

We live in a area of high risk for bush fires and it is important to prepare the garden before the hot weather of summer arrives.

The Gum trees in the garden drop so much debris it is untrue, from large branches to twigs and leaves and it is alarming how much you can collect from under these trees.

There are two factors in getting the garden prepared for the bush fire season. The first is clearing materials that could potentially start a fire on high temperature days. The other is trying to reduce potential damage should fire break out locally, be it an approaching fire front or ember attack from a fire in the area.

With so much garden debris to clear today was the time to do it. The weather had been dry for a few days so now was my chance to get the bonfire going and get the garden into order.

Here I am now, feeling somewhat achey after two days of raking, shovelling, chopping, sawing and pruning. But I have that satisfied feeling that comes with a hard days labour, where you can actually see the result, a garden that looks tended.

The centre part of the garden is dominated by four unruly but beautiful gum trees, I think they are called “Messmates” and their name suits them well!

A large part of my time was spent working under the trees, raking up all the twigs and leaves and filling my faithful barrow. Up and down the hill I went, from trees to bonfire and back until at last the shaded area under the tree looked clear.

I trimmed up the gorgeous Acers that sit in the shadow of one of the large gums and took my saw to the larger vigorous shrubs.

There was an area of the garden between the Gums and the water tanks that had been planted up with native bushes, and there were some fabulous specimens indeed. However, they had been planted with no consideration given to their growth, and were looking overcrowded. In some cases they seemed to be planted so shallow that they lacked any sort of strength to stand upright.

With my plans for the garden clearer now, it was time to bite the bullet. I made the difficult decision to remove quite a few of the native plants that were looking sorry for themselves. I have allowed for the planting of new native plants in my plans for the garden, as they attract and feed the local wildlife.

Now it is a matter of keeping on top of clearing any more debris that falls from the trees and keeping the grass cut.

So at midnight, with the rain now falling on our tin roof and thunder rumbling in the distance, it’s time to say good night. I think I will sleep well tonight!

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