Protect your Garden Life
Don't let thieves steal your dream garden life investment of time, money and effort by walking away with your statues, stone or ceramic planters, patio furniture, hanging baskets or emptying the contents of your shed.
Returning to your home after a full day away or even just a few hours to find that your garden has been stripped of it's best after all you hard work is just heart-breaking.
Find out how you can safeguard the future of your garden life and what exactly is going to have to be cemented in or chained down.
Let's start with the garden and then focus on the garden shed.
The Double Entry Gate
If you are lucky enough to have some sort of off-street parking or even your own garage at the side of your home, then you may have double entry gates to drive your car in through.
Many homes have done away with the entry gates completely because of all the hassel of getting in and out of the car every time. The gate posts may still be there but no gate - obviously these folks don't have pets to keep in but they also now don't have any form of visual or mental barrier to keep people out - it's just... walk right on into your garden life.
Personally I like to double entry gates and find that continuously closing and padlocking your gate is just a matter of routine and good home and garden security sense.
How does a padlocked double entry gate help you?, well, if thieves could drive right up to your home it would be a lot easier and more private to fill up the van with all your treasures, than having to cart them down the garden and suspiciously over the garden gate...
The Side Gate or Garden Gate
Just as important as the double gate, if someone is detemined to go somewhere they shouldn't, then don't let it be easy for them. It is also easier for a neighbor to spot something strange going on if a home invader has to climb over a gate to get in and back over again stealing treasures of your garden life.
Also a locked garden gate means that the burglar can't just let the dogs out into the street... and close the gate behind them before continuing to rob your home.
Garden Gate Hinges
If kids have been sitting on or climbing over the double gates, chances are the hinges are not as good as they used to tbe. Just like we suggest for entry doors and windows, replace old hinges with heavy duty secure hinges bolted in nice and tight.
Without a doubt, the most vulnerable area for security of garden life is your rear garden wall or fence, burglars love to come in the back way, maybe from a neighbors garden.
Thieves are usually fit and agile and can jump over the normal fence heights, but if you supplement the height of your fence with some trellis, you are providing enough structural strength for climbing plants but not engough to carry the weight of a person.
The noise of the trellis cracking under the strain of Mr Thief should be enough to wake-up both you and the dog.
Small holed trellis would mean that the burglar wouldn't even be able to get a foot-hold to climb up and over quietly.
I remember having seen grand old homes with walled gardens, many of the exterior walls had broken glass cemented onto the top. Now-a-days, we are using thorny climbing plants instead as part of our home improvement home security measures.
Plants often form a slippery contact with a wall and a good sized thorn in the palm of a thieves hand should be enough to make them go away.
Don't leave anything handy near the wall which could be used to make it easier to climb back over, no ladders, tables etc...
Planting for safety
Now the good thing about the trellis addition to the above fence is that a, it enhances garden life and b, you can (just about) see through it, but if you plant a good strong hawthorne bush as a hedge and let it grow too high, you will be providing the burglar with a screen to hide behind.
Prickly Hawthorne and Bramble bushes are my favourite for creating natural defences in your garden to help protect your home and the privacy of your garden life, but don't let them grow too high. However, for family safety, you'll have to watch that children don't run into them while playing.
I always get upset when I hear of someone losing their garden ornaments, sun dials, water fountains and statues. These are objects carefully choosen over years to create a unique garden life at your home.
If you cement some of these pieces in it could be difficult to move them if you decide later to sell the house. You could cement into the ground a curved metal rod and discreetly chain your statue to it.
Hopefully fountains are harder to lift as you have them surrounded by water and connected up, but of course professional thieves will always find a way to steal from others.
Window Boxes and Pots
A top favorite for a quick snatch, window boxes aren't very expensive but are easy to sell on. Secure your window boxes by bolting them down, big ceramic and stone pots should also be secured whenever possible.
Yes, it's true that people can be mean as well as envious. If you have gone to all the trouble of buying, placing and caring for hanging baskets, it's horrible to return home and find them gone. Luckily they usually hang off a bracket fixed to the wall which gives you an easy way to secure by chaining the basket.
THE GARDEN SHED
You probably keep a lot of garden equipment in your garden shed, maybe even a ladder or even some D.I.Y. equipment.
If a would-be burglar can spot your tools through the window of your garden shed and after a little push can gain access to a nice metal saw or even a sledge hammer, they are going to find it a lot easier to break into your home.
The Padlock and Chain
A hasp is a hinged metal clasp that fits over a staple or shackle and can be secured by a padlock.
A shackle is a metal loop closed by a bolt to connect chains.
The contruction material of your garden shed must be fairly sturdy and in good condition to support putting a hasp and shackle on, close the hasp and padlock the shackle through it.
Secure the Contents of your Shed
If you are troubled by the extensive collection of tools stored away in your garden shed then consider the following options:- you could chain all of your tools together or even better, lock them away in a purpose built tool box cage.
Grill the Shed Windows
Putting metal grills on the windows might make your garden shed look a little like a miniature jail house, but it will help deter thieves from attempting to break into what is after all, usually just a normal small wooden building.
Cover the Windows
Putting curtains up that you can close whenever your shed is not in use means that burglars will not be able to see what you have inside. Don't tempt determined burglars, keep special tools out of sight.
Fit an Alarm System on your Shed
An alarm system for your garden shed doesn't have to be an expensive or complicated option. You can rig a mini wireless battery operated system to take care of the shed door. Another option - and easier on the batteries - would be connecting your shed up to your home alarm system.
Your alarm system professional will be able to advise you or your options depending on the system you have in your home and the distance of your home to your garden shed.
Maybe you have been reading this list and thinking - but who is going to steal your hard earned garden fixtures and fittings?... unfortunately garden security has become a growing concern over the last few years as lawnmowers and garden trimmers as well as other expensive hardware and decorative items have disappeared from homes and gardens.
The emerging fact is that if you really love the special features that you have put into your garden life and you want to keep them, then you had better start looking for a way to anchor them, to make sure that they are safe every time you leave home and still there when you get back.
It's as if thieves have just realized how easy it is to walk away with all your expensive garden life articles and more often calls to police stations have been along the lines of "no, the house is untouched but the garden and garden shed have been stripped"
Unfortunately the other familiar report you may hear is - "yes, they have totally cleaned the place out, it appears that they used the equipment stored in the garage to gain quick and easy access to the house".
The above measures are reasonably easy to put in force at your home. Items can be anchored in a hidden way, chains don't have to be visible, you can find imaginitive ways to cement your items down and still look esthetically pleasing... The answer seems to be protect now and reap the rewards of relaxing and enjoying your garden life.
Protect your garden and enjoy your garden life.
Garden Life Security Top Tip
If you use gravel under windows and on pathways leading to your entry doors you are creating a good NOISE home security detail. You can clearly hear people walking on gravel... especially your dog will.
If you are looking for more security ideas for the interior of your home - as well as for your garden life - then you will want to click on the following link to see our main page on home security, from there you can also follow the links to our "computer internet security", "window security" and "entry door security" articles, so here it is...
Top Home Security ideas for your home and garden life
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