When you think of home protection, chances are your landscaping isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, police departments worldwide are beginning to point out that gardening can be your first defense against crime. Follow these tips to burglar-proof your home.
Thieves love nothing more than densely planted shrubbery to hide under or behind while they case your house, check out who’s home and figure out an entry point. Keep your home more secure by regularly trimming and landscaping anything that obscures your windows and your view to the street.
If your yard is fenced, consider planting thorny shrubs at the base of the fence where an intruder would land if they were scaling the fence and then jumping down. Opt for spine tipped yucca or prickly pear cactus to give your unwanted visitor an unwelcome surprise. This same technique also works well underneath windows. No one wants to kneel on the ground to peer in a window when the ground is covered in cacti!
If you have a garage, outbuilding or other exterior area that houses valuables such as tools or machinery, consider planting thorny plants around the perimeter and under any windows. It’s difficult to climb through a garden shed window to steal tools if you’re dodging Juniper, Blue Spruce or Firethorn to get there. Most thieves will decide it simply isn’t worth the trouble and head to the next house on the block.
Chain link fences are easy to climb over. Add several climbing roses, however, and the game quickly changes. Roses are beautiful but dangerous, so put their thorns to work for you. Allow climbing roses to use your fence as a trellis, and you’ll never have to worry about anyone using that same fence as a ladder to make their way onto your property.
If your property is outlined with a fence, consider planting perimeter shrubbery as well. While a fence may keep out stray dogs and small children, to a prowler it’s no real obstacle. Make things more challenging by planting the perimeter your property, at the base of the fence, with Holly, Japanese Roses or Oregon Grape. These plants will be attractive to the casual observer, but they also act as an extra layer of prickly home protection.
While these landscaping additions may not keep your home completely safe, they’ll certainly keep you from becoming an easy mark. Prowlers, thieves, addicts and criminals are on the lookout for easy targets, and if your property is well protected, they’ll simply move on. An investment in landscaping now may keep your home well-protected for decades.