Beat the Burglar
the right conditions thieves seem to be able
to penetrate the most secure premises. They
over-ride or ignore security systems and daylight
robbery is as common as robbery during the hours
Using plants to keep undesirables out of your
home can be quite effective providing they are
sufficiently tough, dense and spiny.
The first line of defence is the boundary hedge.
Locking the gate is of little use if intruders
can push through the hedge. Some plants are
better than others when planted as hedging.
The flowering evergreen escallonia makes an
attractive, dense hedge which will resist all
but a lorry. Beech and hornbeam are similar
in density but deciduous and without flowers.
there are the hedging shrubs with thorns or
spines. Rosa rugosa is quick growing with spiny
stems and attractive summer flowers. Berberis
is available in many varieties most of which
flower well. Some are evergreen with sharply
pointed leaves. The spines are brutal, often
up to two inches in length.
Pyracantha forms an impenetrable, evergreen
hedge with thorny stems. The white clusters
of late spring flowers are followed in autumn
by yellow, orange or red berries.
An old field boundary hedge of hawthorn may
need to be gapped up with young plants to make
it solid. Its appearance and security will be
improved by planting the pale pink flowering
Rosa canina, the thorny, wild rose, through
the hedge. Space the roses every 10 feet to
make a good display.
the thieves manage to get into the garden then,
as a second line of defence, plant inhospitable
shrubs under the ground floor windows. It will
make window cleaning difficult but with the
right choice of plants your unwelcome visitor
may well decide on easier pickings.
Again dwarf berberis and roses are excellent
in this position. Poncirus trifoliata is commonly
called the Japanese bitter orange. It is a citrus
but the small green-yelow fruit are inedible.
The white flower is attractive ahd highly fragrant.
The palmate, dark green leaves are deciduous,
its bright green stems are armed with the most
deadly thick, two inch long spines.
the windows are high, plant Rubus cockburniensis.
It is similar to the bramble and in the same
family. The stems are covered in an attractive,
white, dust-like bloom and hooked thorns. The
upright canes may grow to six feet with arched
side shoots. It is not a plant one would wish
to tangle with and if the thief breaks through
a clump to get at a window he may need hospital
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