Marcelle Nankervis is a Horticulturist who has worked in the Horticultural Media for over 16 years.
She is passionate about Permaculture, Sustainability and Gardening for the Future.

Marcelle regularly writes for Your Garden magazine and Better Homes and Gardens.
Her first book was Plants for Australian Dry Gardens (Murdoch Books).
Marcelle's second is Smart Gardening (Exisle Publishing).

Welcome to my Blog!

As a horticultural writer I often come across people, stories, tips, tricks and real gems of information that never really make their way out of my notebook. I am hoping to share a few of these insights here as well as my own gardening experiences, which includes getting my children excited about plants.

I believe that a strong connection with the garden and our landscape when we are young is vital. I am hoping that educating my children in "Green Living" and "Smart Gardening" will provide them with the fundamental building blocks necessary for them to live long and healthy lives, while also doing their bit in helping to create a sustainable and green future for all.

Happy Gardening!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fire safe plants

After the Black Saturday fires, what to plant in the garden became quite an important topic. So, following on from last week about cleaning up around your home, if you are in a fire prone area, consider planting fire safe plants.

Naturally, some plants are less or more flammable than others.

Unfortunately Aussie natives are often highly flammable, because this is part of their lifecycle, which explains how fires spread so easily through our bushland.

Some highly flammable plants to avoid close to your home are:
Acacia sp. (Silver Wattle)
Japanese maples are highly flammable
Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple)
Acmena smithii (Lilly Pilly)
Bambusa vulgaris (Bamboo)
Betula pendula (Silver Birch)
Cupressus funebris (Mourning Cypress)
Eucalyptus sp.
Grevillea sp.
Leptospermum sp. (Teatree)
Melaleuca alternifolia (Paperbark)
Monstera deliciosa (Monstera)
Pinus sp.
Pittosporum undulatum (Sweet Pittosporum)
Quercus robur (English oak)
Spiraea catoniensis (May)
Viburnum opulus (Guelder Rose)
These ignite easily and can spread a fire rapidly.

Some plants that are less flammable and better suited to gardens close to homes include:  Artemisia sp. (Wormwood)
Camellia sp.
Datura suaveolens (Angels Trumpet)
Diplarrena moraea (White Flag Iris)
Hebe's are low fire risk plants

Gazania hybrida (Treasure Flower)
Hebe speciosa (Veronica)
Hemerocallis aurantiaca (Day Lilly)
Hydrangea macrophylla (Hydrangea)
Hymenocallis littoralis (Spider Lily)
Hymenosporum flavum (Native Frangipanni)
Lampranthus aurantiacus (Pigface)
Lavendula angustifolia (English Lavender)
Passiflora herbertiana (Native Passionfruit)
Pelargonium peltatum (Geranium)
Pomaderris apetala (Dogwood)
Prunus sp. (Plum)
Syzigium australe (Lilly pilly)

While all plants will burn, it is wise to plant less flammable plants close to your home. Especially in fire prone areas. We should be able to enjoy living among the trees, but we must also do all we can to minimise the risk of a fire starting and spreading in our garden.