3 landscaping tips to repel burglars
landscaping tips to improve security
With spring around the corner, it’s time to consider landscaping. While you’re probably thinking about planting colorful flowers or maybe even installing a water feature, you shouldn’t overlook how landscaping affects home security.
Daniel Griffin, owner of highly rated Island Creek Landscape of Stanfield, N.C., says safety is inherent in a well-designed plan. “If it’s a good landscape design, views that you want to see aren’t blocked in the first place,” Griffin says. “Basic design concepts will kind of steer you away from creating some of these hazards.”
While nothing ensures total security, and landscaping is just one aspect of your overall safety strategy, here’s some advice on how to use landscaping to make your home less appealing to potential burglars.
1. Stick it to them. Keep landscaping trimmed away from windows and doors, and don’t make it easy for burglars to lurk on your property. When Carole Robin, owner of highly rated Robin’s Gardening Service of Sterling Heights, Mich., notices overgrown bushes or shrubs that block the view from windows or even the peephole in a door, she recommends trimming or removal. “You don’t want anyplace to hide,” Robin says.
In addition, Robin and Griffin suggest placing thorny bushes below windows to deter intruders. Bougainvillea — a type of ornamental vine that produces sharp thorns and purple or pink flowers — works well in warmer climates, Griffin says. Barberry plants are another option, Robin says. “They have got wicked thorns,” she says. “No one in their right mind wants to wade through one of those shrubs to get through a window.”
2. Light up the lawn. Motion sensor lighting, solar pathway lights, uplighting against the house and even downlighting in trees are ways to illuminate your yard. “Landscape lighting is a good deterrent,” says highly rated landscaper Terrin Brysman of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “Landscape lighting makes a big difference at night. You can see the whole yard.”
3. Keep it clean A good landscaping plan doesn’t offer any security if you fail to regularly maintain your yard and lawn, says Kevin James, owner of highly rated Kevin James Landscape of Charlotte, N.C. Uncut grass, overgrown shrubbery, old mulch, etc. can signal to potential invaders that no one is home. If you travel often or are on vacation, hire someone to mow your grass while you’re away. “The bottom line is: If you want safety and security, you have to maintain your landscape,” James says.