Always looking for ways to use landscaping to increase value in our home, I came across this article from Scotland. Police and the horticultural society in Scotland have joined together to create a list of plants that can be used to deter burglaries. It’s called a “secure by design” initiative and it makes sense to me. The idea is to use “jaggy”, spiny, thorny, or sharp-edged plants in strategic places around your home, making intrusion a literal pain in the arse. From the article:
The force’s top ten list of “anti-personnel” shrubs includes: the fearsome berberis, which has some of the sharpest spines in the garden; acanthus, which produces spines on the flower heads and is ideal for “vulnerable access points”, pyracantha, which is good for hedging and under windows and has a “beautiful display of red or orange in winter”, rambling rose, which is good for drainpipes; and pampas grass, which is handy in a vulnerable corner and has razor-sharp leaves.
Sgt Robert Shiel said: “Using jaggy bushes is a way to add extra protection to a home without having to put in expensive burglar systems.
“Residents can keep thieves from gaining easy access to fences or windows by planting one of these bushes in front of them.
That’s good to know. I’ve often seen a row of nice bushy shrubbery around a home, or landscaping that will create convenient privacy screens for a would-be burglar. We know that’s to be avoided, but there’s another reason to put spiny plants in strategic locations:
“With the advances in DNA technology, there’s always the possibility that a thief will get a scratch and allows us to do a blood lift from a window or wall.”
Ha! Take that you bastards.
While this list of plants might not be appropriate for Dayton Ohio homes and the climate zone at your house, it should get you thinking about the landscaping and any security issues at your own home. Ask at your local independent nursery for plants they would recommend based on your needs: Sunlight, soil type, security concerns, and gardening skills.
Photo of Berberis gagnepainii thorn
Photo credit: =MPF