Growing a More Fire-Resistant Garden

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Monday 8/29.

With wildfires becoming an increasing threat, both in the West and other areas of the country, and with fall planting just around the corner, now’s an excellent time to look at your home gardens and evaluate what changes you can make to create a more fire-safe environment for your home and neighborhood. While all plants can burn, some plants have certain characteristics that make them more resistant to fire including an open growth habit; thick, large broad leaves vs thin or needle shaped; low leaf litter production; and watery vs gummy oily or resinous sap, to name a few. Good news is that there are probably way more plants that fit this description than you think! Here are some of our favorites.

Firescaping Talk This Saturday
Annie’s locals, come learn more about Firescaping this Saturday 8/27 at 11am when author Douglas Kent will be giving a FREE TALK in the Nursery. See details below. Some of Douglas’ favorite types of fire-resistant plant include: Columbine, Milkweed, Coreopsis, Foxglove, Coneflower, Euphorbia, Lupine, Oenothera, Papavers, Ratibida, Rudbeckia, CA fuchsia, Coffeeberry, Toyon, Agave, Yucca and virtually all succulents and cacti.

Fire Resistant Planting Blog
Check out our blog about fire resistant planting by guest contributor and landscape designer, Kate Frey. It’s from a few years back, but heck, it is chock full of great information that is all still relevant today. Check it out.

Check out our complete list of fire-resistant plants

'Ice Wine' NEW!

There may be no more dramatic Coreopsis than this variety with its white as snow petals and vivid wine-colored inner ring. Grows quickly to 18-24” HxW and flowers May – fall, drawing constant visits from bees and butterflies. Use this perennial coreopsis wherever you want a splash of color. It performs well in pots. EASY to grow, just plant in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Once established it makes do with little water. Goes deciduous in zones 9b or colder but returns in spring. Deer resistant.

Perennial USDA Zones 4-11

Achillea millefolium
'Red Velvet'

Add a bright flash of candy-apple red to practically any garden with hardy and carefree CA native ‘Red Velvet’ Yarrow. 3” umbel blooms rise above rich, ferny foliage spring thru summer. To 3’ x 2’, it’s drought and heat tolerant, and needs only average soil and occasional summer water. Cut spent blooms to keep it going. A super habitat plant, Yarrow attracts birds, bees and butterflies.

CA Native Perennial USDA Zones 3-10

Achillea millefolium
'Salmon Beauty'

Large 4” umbels start off a beautiful rich Salmon pink then fade to combinations of soft pinks and buttery yellows, displaying all these lovely pastel hues at the same time! It has a spreading mat-forming habit growing to 2’x3’ – super for borders. Acclimates to clay and attracts many butterflies and bees. Excellent cut flowers too. Blooms late spring thru fall. Deer and drought resistant but is best with low water.

CA Native Perennial USDA Zones 3-10

Papaver atlanticum
'Flore Pleno'

Almost never out of bloom and incredibly tough, it grows anywhere as long as it gets at least 4 hours of sun. The 3” soft apricot-orange semi-double blooms appear continuously spring thru fall. The flowers retain their color the longest in part shade. A perennial Poppy, it self sows. Tough, drought tolerant and not fussy about soil (give it some drainage) but with average to rich soil and a bit of summer water it will bloom even more.

Perennial USDA Zones 5-10


Stunning pompom flowers in a mouth-watering cantaloupe color that are adored by bees and butterflies. This “Coneflower” forms a sturdy clump 2-3’ high and 2’ wide, and the 3” flowers bloom summer thru mid-fall and better with deadheading. Excellent cut flowers! Provide fertile well-drained soil. Clean up in late winter or leave spent flowers for the birds to collect seed. Deer resistant.

Perennial USDA Zones 4-10

Ratibida columnifera var. pulcherrima
"Mexican Hat"

This RARE, somewhat curious and yet striking perennial bears a great profusion of showy 2” reddish-brown “Mexican Hat” flowers from June thru September. Fast, carefree, and easy to grow in ordinary or even POOR SOIL, it looks good in both wild and composed gardens and makes a very fun cut flower. To 3’ high and 1.5’ wide.

Perennial USDA Zones 3-10

'Cosmic Eye'

Exceptionally bloomiferous, this new naturally dwarfed perennial “Tickseed” is perfect for the front of a bed or container. Growing only 1.5’ high and wide, ‘Cosmic Eye’ is proof that size isn’t everything! Enjoy endless rounds of beautiful bicolor blooms summer thru fall. Great for cut flowers. Deer resistant and drought tolerant once established. Tolerates poor soil.

Perennial USDA Zones 5-10

Penstemon heterophyllus
'Blue springs'

Truly luminous, almost turquoise blooms, 6-12” tall, will make this one of your favorite California natives. Dense and compact, it grows to a maximum 14” x 14” with bluish-green evergreen foliage. Once established, it’ll live long and prosper in low fertil­ity soil with no summer water. A superb choice for dry gardens & containers. Much loved by hummers and butterflies. Deer resistant. Drought tolerant.

Perennial USDA Zones 6-10

Lupinus propinquus
"Blue Bush Lupine"

Very much like “Yellow Tree Lupine”, but with ever-so-desirable lavender and white blooms! Hard to find, this California native shrub thrives with little water once established and is deer resistant and salt and sand tolerant. Bursting into profuse bloom in May, and with some summer water, until July. The 6-8” upright fragrant spikes beckon all the butterflies and bees. Best in not-so-fertile, well-drained soil and a great choice for hillsides and barrel-sized containers. Cut back to 3’ x 3’ in fall.

CA Native Perennial Shrub USDA Zones 7-10

Yucca rostrata
'Sapphire Skies'

Extraordinary beauty and bold architectural form make this remarkably winter HARDY Yucca a fantastic choice for a well-drained garden or large container. Yes, it’s slow growing but wait – even while it’s young it fills out quite quickly into a 3’ x 3’ rounded dome of slender flexible (not spikey) jade-green leaves for a stunning structural accent. In year 4, it develops the thick elegant textured whitish trunk to 15” across topped by a -4’ spherical “Koosh-ball” of the loveliest powder-blue foliage. To 10-12’ at maturity when huge candelabras of creamy-white flowers are displayed above the foliage. Hardy to -10 degrees to -15 degrees. Fire and deer resistant!

Perennial Succulent USDA Zones 5-11

Sedum spurium

FAST GROWING and super EASY – this beautiful succulent groundcover with white and pink variegation will brighten up any dry garden. To 6” tall x 18” wide – it will spread steadily over time. Mainly green with white edging in summer, but color shifts as the weather cools to green with a bold HOT PINK outline. Cut off any green-leafed shoots that pop up to preserve the pure variegated awesomeness. Great for attracting butterflies, bees and hummers! Provide good drainage.

Perennial Succulent USDA Zones 3-10a

Sedum x adolphii
"Golden Sedum"

Get some bling for your succulent garden with this honey to chartreuse-colored succulent with little nuggety leaves that develop pink highlights as they mature. This succulent is flexible enough to handle bright shade as long as it isn’t overly wet. About 6-12” high and 1-2’ wide it’s great cascading over the side of a container or low wall. Drought and heat resistant. Provide good drainage and compost annually for a happy, healthy plant.

Perennial Succulent USDA Zones 9-11

Delosperma nubigenum
"Hardy Yellow Iceplant"

One of t BEST drought tolerant and deer resistant groundcovers you can grow! Spreads to a dense flat bright emerald green mat at least 2’ across. Fantastic for carpeting a rock garden or draping over the edge of a raised bed or rock border. AND it's EVERGREEN and hardy too. Sparkly, 1” bright lemon yellow ice plant-like blooms appear in the spring. Feed once a year for super appearance.

Perennial Succulent USDA Zones 4-10

'Red Mountain Flame'

A carefree, super showy succulent ground cover, this highly improved award winning variety of ice plant can transform even the ugliest sidewalk strip into a dramatic blanket of flaming red gorgeousness! Masses of 2” daisy-esque, intense scarlet red flowers with fanciful magenta and white circles around the yellow stamen bloom from spring-fall atop a 2” high mat of ever-gray-green weed suppressing foliage. Drought tolerant once established and virtually maintenance free, and attracts butterflies and bees!

Perennial Succulent USDA Zones 6-10

This Weekend In the Nursery

Join author/horticulturalist Douglas Kent as he shares his Firescaping strategies and teaches you about how to strategically use plants to help protect your family, property and community from the danger of fire.  Kent will be focusing on structures, defensible space, and the role of plants in fire protection. Kent is the author of a best-selling book on fire protection, teaches at a variety of colleges, and has been working to create fire-protected properties since 1994. His presentations are as professional and impassioned as they are dynamic and educational.

WHEN: Saturday August 27th 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

WHERE: Annie's Annuals Retail Nursery – 740 Market Ave., Richmond CA


And back by popular demand!!!!



Come learn about growing beautiful dahlias with Jill Sowards of Violetear Studio. Jill will cover her favorite varietals, growing dahlias in the ground, pots, or raised beds, and how best to cut your blooms to enjoy inside.


Elizabeth Vecchiarelli of Preserved is back! This time she’ll be demonstrating how to make “Krauts” both the traditional cabbage sauerkraut and other unique twists on this healthy fermented nutrient-dense food.

More Upcoming Talks & Food Pop-Ups

Douglass Kent - Firescaping Sat, August 27 11 am - 12 pm
Growing Great Dahlias - with Jill Sowards of Violetear Studio Sat, September 3 11 am - 12 pm
Elizabeth Vecchiarelli of Preserved - Fermenting Veggies, Krauts & More Sun, September 4 11 am - 12 pm
Garden Grooves - MELNE aka the "Rok Dove" Sun, September 4 12 pm - 1 pm
Vegan Vibes Mexican Food Sun, September 4 11 am - 4 pm
Labor Day – NURSERY OPEN Mon, September 5 9 am - 5 pm
fall Pruning with Certified Arborist - Ellyn Shea Sat, September 10 11 am - 12 pm
Gardening in the SF Bay Area - What to Plant When with Golden Gate Gardening Book Author Pam Peirce Sat, September 24 11 am - 12 pm


It’s full of even more new plants that will make your summer gardens spectacular!

View it online or request a copy here. It's free!

to see NEW PLANTS this week!
Or check out or current availability list for a fabulous selection!

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Annie's Annuals & Perennials
Nursery: 740 Market Ave. Richmond, CA 94801
Business Office: 801 Chesley Ave. Richmond, CA, 94801
(888) 266-4370