In 2002 Mount Eliza Fire Brigade designed and established a bushfire resistant low fuel load indigenous landscape garden on the grounds of the Mount Eliza Fire Station. It is one of several such native landscape gardens at CFA stations in Victoria.
The purpose of the garden is to demonstrate that it is possible to have local native vegetation and low fuel levels around houses and buildings. They are quite compatible.
The garden consists of plants indigenous to Mount Eliza and is managed for low fuel loads.
Plants are either:
- naturally fire resistant due to succulent foliage, or
- managed for low fuel levels by regular pruning and mowing.
The garden has three sections:
- coastal (front), composed of succulent plants
- woodland (back), composed of prunable shrubs
- grassland (centre), composed of indigenous grasses – a demonstration native grass lawn.
Many indigenous plants actually do better when pruned or mowed, as this simulates the original natural wallaby browsing, kangaroo grazing and Aboriginal burning.
Under extreme conditions almost any vegetation will burn but low fuel loads make it easier and safer for firefighting.
The garden is maintained every third Sunday of the month between 10am and 12pm.
Visitors and volunteers are most welcome.