Thorny tips to deter garden thieves

Thorny tips to deter garden thieves

Variagated Holly (Ilex Aquifolium)

Homeowners might be well advised to carefully re-consider planting plans to deter uninvited guests and garden thieves. Recent research seems to indicate that there is a significant increase in garden theft during the summer months. According to insurance industry sources, an analysis of claims reveals that claims peak in July and August and are 40% higher than at the start of the year. Homeowners can improve security and make their home more secure by planting shrubs with thorns or prickly foliage.

When it comes to stealing from gardens, nothing is safe and the opportunistic thief is willing to steal anything including the family pet. Other items favoured by thieves include power tools (electric drills, saws etc) 42%, simple hand tools (garden spades, rakes) 39% and 19% were electric lawnmowers, chainsaws and ladders. Increasingly the authorities are asking homeowners to take more precautions e.g., fit alarms to garden sheds, install security lighting, lock all garden sheds and outbuildings, lock ladders etc.

Often burglars are lazy opportunists usually preferring to seek out easy opportunities in order to break and enter. A very good deterrent to deter unwanted garden visitors is to plant up the boundary walls with a prickly hedge or thorny shrubs. Here are some excellent examples which will provide a natural defence barrier to make your house and garden more secure:

  • Chaenomoles Japonica (Japanese Quince) – a strong and quick growing deciduous prickly shrub which can be easily grown as a hedge or espalier along a wall.
  • Firethorn (Pyracantha) – so prickly even gardeners fear pruning this robust evergreen climber which has lots of summer flowers and bountiful and valuable food source of berries to feed the birds in winter.
  • Ilex aquifolium (Holly) – a beautiful albeit slow growing evergreen shrub with very sharp prickly leaves.
  • Berberis julianae (Julian’s Barberry) – is a dense, upright evergreen shrub with ferocious long spikes.
  • Mahonia x media Charity – makes a very attractive upright evergreen shrub, producing wonderful fragrant flowers in winter. Foliage is very prickly and strong.

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