Our garden plants have many purposes but one of the most useful is to keep our homes and boundaries safe and secure.

Let’s look at the top plants to prevent burglars from becoming a thorn in your side.

Dig in defence

Now it can cost a fortune with security systems and security fencing and lighting, but you can in fact use nature to help protect and secure your garden as well.  There are many plant varieties that would deter even the most hardened of intruders, with thorns and branches in an impenetrable thicket that go a long way to not only embellish your garden with flower, fruit and foliage but they also are a great deterrent to stop unwanted guests within the garden area.

Prickly pals

Of course, the added advantage of planting thorny plants within the garden is that it also makes great nesting for birds because the thorns add protection against predators looking to get the birds, the eggs or chicks.

When I’m talking about having thorny plants I’m not talking about ugly things, I’m talking of things of pure beauty.


Shrub roses for instance.  Shrub roses are different from the normal hybrid tea or floribunda roses which are small bushes.  Shrub roses, on the other hand, grow to about 1.5 metres by 1.5 metres and are absolutely full of the most spectacular flowers, from singles to doubles, from whites to pinks to bright reds and multi-coloured, and many of them have heavenly scents but they also have a lot of thorns.  So planted in border areas of the garden where people are liable to jump over the fence or in areas at the front of the garden where you don’t want people to step over, shrub roses are a pretty good deterrent.

Pretty powerful


Another plant that you may not think about is gooseberry, not only have you got the thorns on the gooseberry, but you’ve got the gooseberries themselves.  You don’t have to plant it specifically in a fruit area, these plants do particularly well in any flower border as a low thorny plant that produces flowers and, of course, fruit as well—perfect for those gooseberries pies or even making a gooseberry preserve which is ideal to go along with strong cheddars, it’s gorgeous.

Another plant that works particularly well if you don’t want burglars climbing up onto your window ledge is the Pyracantha or firethorn. This can grow quite close to a property, underneath windows, over the frames of doors and the like and the birds love to nest in it as well, but the thorny stems deter burglars too.   It has masses of flowers early on in the season and it has spectacular berries of orange or red or yellow depending upon which variety that you choose.  In addition to that, it’s semi-evergreen so it holds a lot of the foliage on to give effect all year round.

Completely covered

Now there are some big, big plants to enable you to cover.

So if you’ve got a large area at the back of your property that you want to put things to grow quite large, look beautiful, and also to be impenetrable too.

Here they are:

  1. Holly comes first to mind. It’s growing your own Christmas decorations but of course the spines on the foliage work particularly well in deterring unwanted guests. You don’t have to get them just in green you can buy them in gold variegated and white variegated too. You can also go for varieties that are producing berry as well, to give you some perfect winter effect.  So holly is a really good choice.
  2. Another beautiful shrub is Berberis. There are many different varieties but Berberis stenophylla is almost like living barbed wire. It’s a big unruly plant that has masses of golden flowers which gives you something special in the garden, but the length of the branches and the thorns make it pretty good to ward off thieves.
  3. Mahonia is more of a stately one. Mahonia ‘Charity’, which has slightly thinner leaves to its sister Japonica, is a real beauty. They almost look like sculptured holly leaves, they grow quite tall and have spectacular flowers during the winter months, just when you need a bit of colour in the garden and their beautiful fresh lemon flowers look particularly good.
  4. Of course, the old favourite is Blackberries. You can buy thorn blackberries that can be placed in positions around your garden where you need maximum strength and support—and you have the added bonus of delicious fruit.


If your lawn is littered in worm casts,
you can disperse them throughout the grass
easily by waiting until their dry and
then using a wire rake.

Nature plays a part in protecting your property. Mix these methods with your outdoor security lighting, making sure that your sheds, garage and home are double locked, and also putting security alarms on your sheds, and it’ll go a long way to making sure that unwanted guests do not intrude on your home.

Happy gardening everyone!

Reader questions

How do I care for my poinsettia left over from Christmas?


Keep your poinsettia in a bright part of the house, but not in direct sunlight if you can help it. Fluctuating temperatures can cause harm too, so don’t position where there are draughts or radiators. And it’s best to try to water it little and often, so it’s not left sitting in water.

I want to begin rotating my crops; how can I get started?

fresh radishes

Begin by dividing your plot into sections and the crops into groups. Depending on what you grow, you might have something like potatoes, legumes, and brassicas, and then rotate where they’re planted each year. Take into consideration the best growing conditions for each, like brassicas needing lots of space.

Is your garden ready for winter? Find out below:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas: