Garden Security – Top Three Techniques

Our gardens act as the first line of defence in deterring potential intruders. Designing simple yet effective security elements in to a garden protects your valuables both inside and outside your home. In this article we outline some intelligent ideas our design and planting team implement for enhanced garden security.

1. Defensive Planting

Defensive planting uses plants and hedging to form natural barriers. Planting thick and thorny plants act as natural obstacles for any intruder as they are very difficult to climb over.  Thorny hedges are most effective up to 6 feet in height, whilst conifers form thick hedges which make it tricky for a intruders to get through quickly and quietly. Pyracantha, Gorse, Quince, Blackberry and Rose are all great defensive plants, and still allow you to keep a natural green look in your garden. The best position to plant these hedges and plants are areas intruders would normally gain access, like windows and around the base of areas that can be easily climbed on like roofs and outbuildings.

Low planting close to your property makes it hard for an intruder to hide out of sight. It’s recommended the maximum height of shrubs should be 1 metre and the minimum height from the ground of tree canopies, 3 metres.

2. Hard Landscaping

Walls and Fences enhance a gardens architectural aesthetic and provide good all-round security. Training climbing plants such as rose bushes on to walls, not only adds beauty to a wall, but also adds to a walls security. They create a layer of thorny defence on the walls structure. Trellis on fences add an ornamental aspect and form a deterrent as they are unable to support the weight of a human. The noise of a trellis breaking is a worry for a potential intruder. Always ensure walls and fences are maintained in good condition throughout the year, are solid in construction and not easily damaged. Be careful if you are thinking about using barbed wire or any other material which could seriously injure an intruder. Regardless of the perceived rights and wrongs, if someone gets injured on your property, you are deemed to be responsible and could find yourself with a legal case on your hands.

Landscaping surfaces have an important role in security. Using noisy crunchy surfaces like gravel and shingle on driveways, around outbuildings and on narrow passageways prevent intruders from moving around quietly, acting as a great deterrent for any potential intruder.

Gates need to be securely fixed to the posts and have sufficient locks applied. It’s advisable to have strong padlocks at the top and bottom, making sure gates can’t be lifted off the hinges. It’s all too easy to become complacent as we frequently pop in and out of the garden, creating a perfect opportunity for any potential thief, so remember to keep gates closed and locked at all times.

3. Technology & Lighting

For added security and peace of mind, consider motion sensor technology linked to lighting systems, CCTV and alarms. Remember to ensure your warning system covers outbuildings too, as these are also common hotspots for intruders to break-in.

Garden lighting systems, when designed well can serve as multi-purpose systems. As we have mentioned in other articles, lighting systems can create ambience and evening outdoor spaces, but they can also perform a valuable third function. Lighting is extremely important in creating a barrier to intruders. Installing motion activated lighting design in the garden or around your property, acts as a perfect deterrent. Think about the position of the lighting to avoid bright light dazzling road users or becoming a nuisance to your neighbours. When designing a system it is a good idea to plan locations for motion sensors. Take in to account the flow of the garden and access routes. Dusk till dawn lighting can be installed around sheds or outbuildings, or around your property boundary. Observe which areas of your garden tend to be shadowy and dark at night, where a potential intruder could hide, and use security lighting in these zones.

CCTV when used in combination with a garden and lighting plan provides peace of mind and one of the best deterrents for any intruder. These systems can be linked to your home television or video or even smartphones so you can view your garden at any time from inside the house.  Police advise it’s best to use a video recorder securely located inside your home, as you do not want the device easily accessed and damaged.

Graduate Landscapes design team have the knowledge and experience to advise you on how to integrate these security techniques in to a beautiful landscape design, for either town gardens, or country estates. Call us today on , or email us by clicking here.