Many of us lavish extensive care, as well as a lot of financial investment, on our gardens - but can you imagine coming home and finding you garden stripped of all its beauty? This is no longer a rare phenomena as items ranging from plants to ornaments to equipment are disappearing from gardens across the land.
With a plethora of gardening TV programmes broadcasting in recent times, homeowners have been encouraged to create ‘outdoor living spaces’ and are furnishing their outdoor areas with valuable antique statues as well as water features, which are often stocked with expensive fish. All these touches add style to any garden, but unfortunately also make them a haven for those stealing or looking to cause damage.
We used to imagine it was just the stately homes of the country which suffered such attacks, but statistics indicate that private homes are now being targeted in a big way. The list of items on burglars’ wish lists appears to include:
One poor gardener came home to find his entire garden stripped bare! One recent case involved antique urns which were huge, heavy and contained beautiful blooming plants. When the householder tried to make an insurance claim, he ran into major problems when the company insisted he obtain a professional valuation and would only settle in full if he produced an invoice and replaced the items.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself, including make an inventory of your garden. Include valuable plants, machinery, statues, ornaments and water features as well as any fish contained in these.
Get your garden effects covered in your household insurance policy. Itemise anything worth over £500 and state its value. Some insurers have special policy wording for gardens so think twice before you take the easy option of insuring through a high-street company or your mortgage provider because they simply do not have the time or the expertise to provide individual advice.
Take good care of your security. Always lock sheds and garages, mark valuable items, secure statues and other moveable items and consider installing security lighting and a wire free alarm system.
These few simple steps can save you the heartache of having your garden ruined - whatever you do, enjoy your garden and don’t let worries about theft ruin your fun.