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How to Make Your Garden Secure
Garden theft has become a sad fact of life in recent years. It seems as though nothing is safe - antique lead statuary, mowers, 6 m hedges, hanging baskets, ponds complete with fountains and expensive koi carp. Many gardeners discover too late that garden contents are not covered by their insurance. Check what your household policy covers. You can now buy special policies that cover garden items specifically. Take steps to deter intruders and decide what needs protection. We show you how to make your garden secure without detracting from its looks.
you will need
See below.
Lights - for night time security. Use halogen floodlights with a passive infrared sensor. Choose its site with care and keep beams away from neighbours and roads. Install one or more at main access points depending on the size of your garden. In small gardens, simple outdoor bulkhead style fittings may be adequate. These can also have sensors, or switch on and off with sunset and sunrise.
Boundaries - fences, hedges, walls and gates. In front gardens it's better to keep a clear view of the front door as a deterrent. Plant sharp plants near boundaries. Plants to use include: Berberis, Chaenomeles, Hollies, Gorse, Sea Buckthorn, Shrub Roses. If you need a new boundary hedge, make sure you choose a prickly one: Hawthorn, Holly, Rosa Rugosa. In back gardens, extend the height of your fence by adding a trellis panel to the top, about 50 cm tall. Climbing is more difficult, and it won't take a lot of weight. Cover it with thorny plants for added security: Roses, Pyracantha, or Chaenomeles.
Paths and drives - use gravel for an early warning system of approaching visitors. Quiet exits are made difficult too. You can mix gravel with slabs, bricks and blocks, but make it impossible for your house and garden to be reached without crossing an expanse. A wide variety of types, sizes and colour mixes are available from DIY stores, garden centres and builders merchants.
Sheds - usually brimful of expensive tools and equipment. Check the value of your sheds contents and take steps to secure it. Sheds should be sound and robust looking. Use nonreturnable screws in hinges, handles and latches. Fit two bolts and padlocks with non-returnable screws evenly spaced on the door. Fit locks locks to shed windows and replace visible screws with the secure type. Install wire mesh across the inside. Use wall anchors inside a shed, outbuilding or garage for really valuable items such as mowers and power tools. Only as secure as the surface which they are attached too, you can buy these from hardware stores and security shops. Alarms can be fitted to sheds and other garden buildings, activated by a movement sensor. Or extend house alarm system to garages, sheds or outbuildings.
Tools - don't leave garden tools lying about. Those of little value can be used to force doors, break windows or lift plants. Mark or etch your tools and garden ornaments with your address and postcode. Giving tools a distinctive colour can be off putting. For more valuable items, tagging systems are available, but can be expensive. If you have no space for a shed, use wall anchors to secure garden tools to your house or garden wall.
Containers and ornaments - screen expensive items from roadside view. If this is impossible, secure benches, pots and statues with either permanent or land anchors. Land anchors are cheaper and available from DIY stores. Both types are hammered into the ground, and the object secured to it by chain and padlock. Expensive works of art can be fitted with movement sensors, electronically connected to an alarm in your house. Attempts to move it result in an ear-piercing siren. Use this on heavy items which are stable in wind and not subject to innocent knocks.
Screen valuable plants so that they can not be identified from the road. Play down substantial visible new planting - remove labels and water other plants nearby when maintaining them. Tether new large specimen trees with land anchors. If you plant hanging baskets, buy secure types with integral baskets padlocked to a rigid supporting bracket. Available from some garden centres and by mail order.
Add height to fences with trellis panels
Put locks on the garden shed
Chain good furniture and ornaments to the ground

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