How’s your garden looking after November 5th? If it’s anything like ours it looks slightly a scene from Apocalypse Now. Everybody loves the riot of noise and colour that lights up the night sky but nobody loves waking up to a singed garden full of soggy firework husks the next day. To help you avoid that feeling, we’ve compiled the following handy tips.
Use a brazier
If you want to bask in the warm orange light of a bonfire but don’t want to decimate your lawn, you should consider investing in a fire pit or brazier. You can pick up this classic piece of garden kit, designed for old fashioned garden waste disposal, at your local gardening store. What’s more, these stylish accessories are becoming more popular for use all year round, and there are now a wide variety of shapes and sizes available from upmarket retailers like Waitrose, or independent metalworkers IronArt.
Leave some leaves
When you’re building a fire, or looking for fuel to keep it going, make sure to leave some of the garden goodness for your ground-dwelling neighbours. And if you have pre-built a fire, do check for sleepy hedgehogs before lighting it.
Once the fire is lit, stick to burning dry, organic matter. Wet leaves produce much more smoke, and plastics can release hazardous chemicals.
Enjoy a Catherine wheel
The humble Catherine wheel may have declined in popularity, but these fireworks won’t burn your lawn, or litter your locale with their remnants.
When using a Catherine wheel, firmly attach them to a stake or fencepost in an open area. This isn’t just for safety reasons – it’s also about taking care of your garden’s fauna. Attaching Catherine wheels to trees or close to hedges can disturb their inhabitants, and they’re an equally important part of your garden.
Borrow some soil
The perennial conundrum for Bonfire night is how to launch the rockets without leaving scorch marks on the lawn. The flimsy milk (or wine) bottle is an unstable option, and jamming the stick into the ground raises fears that your rocket won’t achieve lift-off. That’s why a bucket of loose topsoil or compost is always the top option. Soil is weighty enough to stay in place, but loose enough for any rocket worth its salt to slip free into the stratosphere. Better still, it can return to the garden when you’re finished.
Bring a bucket
A bucket of water is another important thing to have at hand. First and foremost it can be the spot for safely disposing of spent sparklers, avoiding any litter or singed spots the next day. It’s also your emergency backup if any hot fireworks or bonfire sparks threaten your greenery.
Clean up carefully
When fireworks are spent, use tongs or gloves to collect the debris. If they are still hot, you can drop them straight into your designated bucket. Cleaning up on the night will reduce the likelihood of lawn damage or unsightly mess in the morning.
When your show is finished for the night, make sure to put the bonfire out safely. This will minimise fire damage and prevent the build up of large piles of ash, which can stay hot for days.
Once everything has cooled down, don’t forget that bonfire ash makes a handy fertiliser that you can dig into your flower beds.
So now you know!
Now that bonfire night’s over it’s only a short time before things start to get really cold.