Five ways to Burglar Proof your garden

We all know how to secure our homes and protect them from burglary, but what about our gardens? An outside space can be easy to access and provide a sheltered and protected route to our homes.

Upright, columnar trees are hard for intruders to hide behind. Image: Jean Vernon
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Criminals can make a split second decision before choosing where to burgle, they don’t want to be seen, they need an easy access and exit and they will avoid negotiating around prickly plants. Here are five ways to add a bit more security to your plot, inspired by the Secured By Design Garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018.

Prickly plants are a natural deterrent. Image: Jean Vernon

 1 Garden security measures don’t need to mean barricading your plot. Instead why not utilise more natural boundaries that grow densely complete with prickles and spines. A low but thick impenetrable hedge can be evergreen, attractive and floriferous if you select the right plants. Barberry (berberis) and Firethorn (pyracantha) have attractive flowers and colourful berries but are armed with thorns and spikes. Plant beneath exposed windows for added security and to plug gaps that could allow access from neighbouring plots

2 Add some garden lighting connected to a motion detector that illuminates the space when someone crosses the garden. Solar powered lights are easy to fit and emit good light from low energy LEDS and can be positioned along paths and areas further from the house without the need for expensive wiring. Or opt for dawn to dusk lights that keep a low level illumination washing over your garden in the darkest hours

Gravel and security lights are a must-have in your arsenal to ward off unwanted visitors. Image: Jean Vernon

3 Use loose gravel on paths and under your windows and doors. It is almost impossible to walk on gravel without making a crunching sound that alerts the homeowner to approaching visitors.

4 Replace any tall or branched trees near the house with upright, columnar trees. Narrow trees of this sort are harder to hide behind and much more difficult to climb as the branches point upwards and don’t support the weight of a climber.

5 Keep your garden design open so that there is no-where to hide. Tall dense hedges provide the perfect screen for criminal activity. Remove them and replace with low growing green screens of prickly plants that will make life more difficult for intruders. Make your garden well lit so that unexpected visitors are visible from inside and outside the home.

The Secured by Design Garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is designed by Lucy Glover and Jacqueline Poll to a brief set by the Metropolitan Police.

Jean Vernon

About Jean Vernon

Jean Vernon is a slightly quirky, bee friendly, alternative gardener. She doesn’t follow the rules and likes to push the boundaries a bit just to see what happens. She has a fascination for odd plants, especially edibles and a keen interest in growing for pollinators especially bees. She’s rather obsessed with the little buzzers. Telegraph Gardening Correspondent, mostly testing and trialing products and Editor-In-Chief for Richard Jackson’s Garden.
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