Defensive gardening

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Defensive gardening

So I'm no expert gardener myself, but I most definitely came to know a few garden plants and bushes through the years that brought me to tears, with a stab or two that is. Although we do not tend to give a lot of attention to the fauna and flora around us, we all know a plant that you would not dare violate! Nature herself has developed some of the best defenses that stood the test of time. So why not use that to our advantage?

Unfortunately, the advantage of these amazing plants and trees can also go to the other side, if you do not give attention to where you plant them or maintain them throughout the year. Think of hiding spots and concealment.

To tree, or not to tree?

So cut down those bushes and shrubs where they can be used to hide in at pinch points such as at the front gate or the porch etc., also trim all your trees on the bottom so you can see underneath them. And trim any branches of trees close to any outside walls or close enough to utilize to climb onto your roof.

If you do like trees, planting something with dense leaves and thin branches will do the trick. Especially if you plant on the outside of barriers.

Shrub it off

On that note, It's a good idea to start from the outside in. Planting some thorny shrubs next to your initial barriers can help keep intruders at bay. Or some thorny roses on top of walls, guided by some trellis or wires makes for a good deterrent - Think barbed wire hidden under some thorns. (evil smile)....

Ideally, you want to keep the shrubs low enough to see over them and be able to watch suspicious movement outside. Too high and dense may help someone hide and wait to pounce on you leaving through the gate.

It pays to plan

Next, we move to the inner side of the walls. Garden design plays a big role here, vulnerable spots such as corners or spots with easy access from the neighbors' house, can be upgraded with a nice thorny plant, or even a fish pond can be quite the inconvenience for intruders if they had to jump straight into it. Or perhaps some wooden spikes is more your thing, I don't judge.

Gravel is your friend

Next on the list is the driveway, pathways, and access points such as windows. Gravel works great for this, it's quite tricky to make no noise walking over gravel. Be creative with this one, think of spaces where someone would likely have to walk to get to your home.

Now go ahead and plant some thorny plants underneath windows or on top of window-sills. Just to stab em some more! And it's a great way to add some color and impress your wife (wink).

Light it up!

The next thing on the list is lighting. This is a very largely debated point, but in my personal experience, you do not want any bright outside lights that are constantly on, not if you are not going to be awake the whole night to monitor who moves in and around the light. So any spotlights connected to a motion sensor work great if you are awake to see it of course. As a kid, we used to have motion sensor lights that simultaneously activate an alarm inside the home, and this was a great concept. You are awakened by the alarm and would know exactly where the movement is, and also whoever was passing the light would hear the alarm and know that someone probably woke up by it.

Another great way of utilizing softer light, such as the small solar garden lights, is to position them in somewhat of a line. In this way, you can peek through a window (with the lights off inside) and if anything passes the lights you can determine movement and direction at the same time. So if used with a silent alarm, it can come in handy.

Also, please do remember to not turn any outside lighting towards your home, if you need to look outside with a light shining in your eyes, your kind of like a deer in headlights, and, whoever is behind the light will comfortably be concealed and have no problems seeing you.

What about the tools?

Lastly, never leave garden tools, ladders, rocks, or any objects that can be used to help someone break in lying around in the yard. If possible, remove them and lock up the tools in a garage or out-house. Face it, it pays to be neat.

Conclusion

So there you have it. Plants can be your best friend when intruders attempt to breach your security. Another great thing about thorny plants is the evidence that could be left behind. Sometimes some drops of blood, some shreds of clothing or even some items dropped when they realized it gets painful. Remember, there is no guarantee any or all of these tips and tricks will work. But it sure beats doing nothing at all!

I will admit, it might take some time and effort to assemble your garden defenses. From researching different plants, choosing the right one in the right amount, and physically planting and continuously caring for them. But it is a rewarding project! At the least, you would have some interesting plants to show off to your visitors, wanted and unwanted that is.

Till next time. Stay safe! And happy gardening!

Home defense

Barrier 2

Barrier 2

So previously I posted about the use of a Barrier and how to implement it. The reason for the first barrier is more of an emotional block to intruders. Then getting up to speed with early warning systems right after that does have a reason for it. When an intruder sees it fit to violate your first barrier, you know he means trouble. Thus you want to be warned of his presence, and that is where the “early” warning system comes into play.

But, what if this early warning system is triggered by nothing, or something ridiculous? Do you want to activate your action plan every second day? Come on, I know practice makes perfect, but that’s just ridiculous. So that’s why the second barrier, to create enough time to establish if there is an actual threat or not. And to give your response service enough time to get to your home, before intruders can gain access. They will need to get through the second barrier first.

What is a second barrier then? Simple, you already have them, or so I hope. Your burglar bars, at your front door and on your windows, for example, is your second barrier. Please pay attention to this, how easy can it be to trigger your alarm system, dash for a spot behind your sensors and wait for you to cool down before I make my entry? It happens, and regularly too.

How should your second barrier be implemented?

  1. Install strong and sturdy door frames at all entries into your home.
  2. Install a heavy, good quality, and strong exterior doors.
  3. Always have a burglar door installed with your exterior door, any slam lock system works best.
  4. Install doorstops or other mechanisms to prevent any exterior doors from being kicked in or opened after the lock mechanism has been disabled.
  5. Install or upgrade your burglar bars on all windows.
  6. Install electrical wiring, barbed wire, or any type of system that can prevent anyone to climb onto the roof.

Tips:

  • Avoid mounting barriers into wooden frames.
  • Rusted mounting bolts and torn welding needs to be replaced and repaired.
  • Gates and doors should operate smoothly and easily.
  • Choose the correct material and durability levels for your situation.
  • Burglar bars don’t have to be expensive or ugly. There are many ways to beautify burglar bars.
  • Check your current barriers for wear and tear (weathering).
  • A sliding barrier in your safe-room is great for escaping.
  • Make sure no-one has access to your front door. Keep all the spare keys safe.

How strong is your second barrier?