« back to news

Prickly plants deter burglars, but are they a hedge against inflation?

High-tech security systems have long been available to deter burglars and now we introduce to you the low tech variety – commonly known as plants! The Metropolitan Police are keen for gardeners to make the most of their plot of land and use it in the fight against crime. Arguably one of the best ways to defend your property (and certainly after dark), plants can stop intruders getting around your garden. Whilst trip wires and night vision may have more of a 'cool' factor, your average burglar is far more likely to come a cropper on a thorny bush or a nice spiky hedge.

The Met states that it doesn't take much to put off opportunistic burglars and refers to them as 'lazy'. They look for easy ways to enter properties and by taking a few simple precautions you can reduce the risk of being burgled and make your house and garden more secure. If burglars are trawling your local area, they are more likely to go for the easy option of a nice sturdy fence that a spiky, painful holly bush!

If you have a little money, you can invest in some trees or shrubs which are beautiful as well as repellent. If you are on a budget, you can take cuttings of holly, brambles and sloes from hedgerows and save a fortune. Always bear in mind though that the Met's advice is to not let your bushes or trees grow more than three feet tall as otherwise burglars can use them as a screen.

We have looked at the plants most likely to deter would-be burglars – and which would also leave them with a reminder of their visit – and here are our findings. Some plants will not only act as an anti-burglar device, but will also provide Christmas decorations, table decorations and their fruit can be made into jams, jellies – and even alcohol!

1. Creeping Juniper – also known as 'Blue Rug' this forms a lovely thorny carpet
2. Blue Spruce – a spiky tree which is a dense mass of spiky needles
3. Common Holly – an obvious choice, with the bonus of cheap decorative material at Christmas
4. Giant Rhubarb – the huge leaves look a little like rhubarb but are really uncomfortable on the skin should you accidentally rub up again their leaves
5. Golden Bamboo – grows in thick clumps and forms a useful barrier against burglars
6. Firethorn – this has a thorny stem which no burglar would want to encounter
7. Shrub rose – another plant with a thorny stem
8. Purple Berberis – another thorny stemmed plan – pretty though
9. Mountain Pine – has long sharp needles
10. Blue Pine – like the mountain pine – only blue!
11. Oleaster – this is a small tree with spiky spines, but you can run the risk of accidentally growing the non-spiky version!
12. Blackthorn – a spiny shrub which grows densely and produces sloes for the sloe gin lover
13. Fushia flowered gooseberry – this spiny bush will produce fruit – beware of scrumpers!
14. Japonica – makes lovely jam, but the spikes are awesome
15. Hawthorn – another plant which makes lovely jelly or jam, but not so good if you land on its thorns
16. Sea Buckthorn – not a very pretty plant, but the long woody thorns can certainly do a whole lot of damage
17. Mahonia – make sure you get the right variety otherwise you will end up with a sweet-smelling climbing plant and not a thorn in sight!
18. Climbing and Shrub Roses – pretty and effective as a deterrent
19. Bramble – not the prettiest of plants but a true defence system against burglars – and you can make great jam as well!
20. Poncirus – the thorns on the shoots can grow to as long as 5cm – need we say more!

If, with all this armoury of vegetation you still get burgled, then make sure you have home and contents insurance in place. Taking reasonable precautions against having your home broken into is just common sense, but if the worst does happen and you do have a burglary, are you confident you are properly insured?

Home and contents insurance is one of the most vital insurances to hold. You need to protect your home and its contents from the opportunist thief – and also against those who have a pre-planned agenda to help themselves to your property. Whilst you can plant a veritable forest of prickly and generally unsociable plants, spend a fortune on security and make sure you adopt all the common-sense precautions possible, sometimes you get caught out. At that moment, you need to know you have in place the right sort of insurance.

Professional advice is paramount. Talk to Westhill Insurance Services – as an independent insurance broker they can shop around on your behalf to find the most cost effective insurance to meet your needs. Their professional and friendly team will listen to what you want, and advise accordingly – thus ensuring that you don't pay for things you don't need, and yet still have the cover you do need, and at a price you can afford. How easy is that?

As we head for Spring and begin making the garden pretty for summer, you may be looking for horticultural advice: we would like to add at Westhill Insurance Services, their knowledge of plants is not that great, they can really take it or 'leaf' it! The most sensible comment on gardening we elicited was "How do you stop moles from digging in your garden? Take away their shovels". Oh well - but then Westhill Insurance Services specialise in insurance – nothing else. That is why you get the right advice at the right price, the first time. Westhill Insurance Services, great for insurance – less great for plant care!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 15th April, 2012