People are often concerned with the security and safety of their home, but there are lots of sound measures you can take to make your garden more secure, and reduce the risk of a break in.
And you won’t even have to sacrifice the look of your wonderful garden!
Many of these security measures will also make a great aesthetic addition to your garden.
In this article, I’ll be talking you through some of the ways you can structure your garden for optimum security including planting, fencing and security lighting.
Use plants as barriers. It’s a great way to create something attractive that keeps trespassers out.
Any sort of thick hedges with intertwining branches will make a really sturdy barrier.
Thorny and spiny plants positioned around the base of fences or underneath windows are excellent deterrents, while still looking fantastic in both the front and back garden.
These also often provide good nesting for birds away from predators, so you can keep your garden wildlife safe as well as your patio heater!
Plant deterrents don’t need to be evergreen, some thorny and spiny plants also flower.
The table shows you which trees and shrubs are commonly used, and what their characteristics are, so you can pick the perfect plant for your garden.
Any garden equipment is appealing to burglars, including furniture, BBQs, garden tools, lawn mowers, strimmers, kids bikes and toys.
Sheds can be quite easy to break into and tend to be a target for burglars as they can usually get in and out without being noticed, especially over the darker months.
Get a battery motion alarm to face openings inside of your shed. It will go off when you get unwelcome intruders. The most important thing I’d recommend is a good, high quality outdoor padlock, and make sure it’s fitted correctly.
You’d be surprised how easy it can be for a burglar to prise open lower quality ones. Use a padlock latch with hidden screws and batten the inside of the shed where the padlock is fixed to make it secure.
I’d also recommend giving your shed a check. Are any of the panels rotting? Is it generally in a good condition? If not, now is the time to get it fixed.
If it’s hiding behind trees or bushes at the bottom of the garden, it may be easy for someone to go unnoticed – motion sensor lighting down the end of your garden would help! (More on that below)
Fences and Gates
Fencing that is difficult to climb or break through can deter burglars. Most fence panels you can purchase are now super strong. I’d suggest purchasing fencing that is high. The limit of fencing is 6ft 6“, so I’d recommend getting as close as that height as possible.
Fences with sharpened points on the top can deter burglars too, and this sort of fencing doesn’t have to look unpleasant at all. If you want an extra layer of security, plant spiky climbers on the side of the fence.
Your gate needs to have a good locking mechanism too. Ones I like are the latches that lock as it closes behind you. People often put latches on their gates that they can opened by hanging their hand over the top of the gate, like the one in the picture. This is super convenient for burglars and although it may make your life easier, consider the risk!
My favourite climbing plants that are also great for deterring thieves are; Berberis, Flowering quince, Pyracantha (climbing types), Rambling Rose and Rugosa Rose.
Motion sensor lighting is probably the most useful outside lighting to provide extra security for either the front or the back of the house.
Sensor lights are quite inexpensive and act as excellent deterrents.
You can point them towards pathways, decking, patio areas or even heavy foliage areas where people could easily hide.
Make sure you position your security lights high enough up that they won’t be easily tampered with. Check your lights regularly and replace bulbs as quickly as possible when needed.
Identify your items
There are a few things you can do to ensure that you are reunited with (or reimbursed for) your items should they get stolen. First of all make sure anything valuable is insured, and make sure you’re clear on your policy. In the event that something gets taken from an unlocked shed, you might not be covered – so all the more reason to reinforce that padlock!
All valuable items such as bikes, lawn mowers and strimmers should be secure. Mark expensive items with a permanent UV security marking pen.
This is a great way to prove an item is yours if it gets recovered later by the police.
Consider installing a CCTV system. A fake camera does a good job of deterring some burglars, but there are determined thieves out there who can tell the difference. If you use a real camera, you’ll have hard evidence of the crime and the perpetrator, should you need to provide it.
Although a shed or house may never be 100% burglarproof, make it as difficult as possible for someone to force entry by following the above steps.
Protecting your home and valuables doesn’t have to be ugly. Use plants and modern security equipment that adds to the aesthetics of your house while also keeping thieves well away!
TIP: Take and keep photographs of any expensive items in the garage and shed and keep photographs of any expensive items in the garage and shed.
Now you’ve burglar proofed your garden, make sure it’s pet proof too with this blog:
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK's leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.