Your landscaping can play a major part in your home's security against burglars and thieves. The key is to come up with a design that you find attractive and pleasing, but that potential bad guys find less than welcoming. The following tips can help you landscape your home with security in mind.
Tip #1: Go low
When it comes to plants near windows and doors, you want to opt for something low growing. Taller or denser shrubs and plants can provide cover for a thief, giving them someplace to hide while they force open a window or wait to waylay someone at the door. This is especially true if you have an attached garage – a common tactic is to hide in the shrubs next to a garage and then sneak under the door before the homeowner closes it upon leaving or coming home.
Tip #2: Choose thorns
For added security, any low shrubs or hedges planted near the home should be thorny. This makes them inconvenient – or even painful – if a would-be thief tries to hide in them. Holly, barberry, or roses are excellent choices since they can be very difficult to extricate oneself from. Just make sure these shrubs won't interfere with escape from a bedroom window in the event of a fire. They are usually better placed along non-bedroom windows, such as the living room.
Tip #3: Opt for gravel
Mulch is a common way to cover the soil in your landscaping because it's more attractive than bare soil. For beds bordering the home, consider upgrading to a gravel or rock mulch instead of the standard wood mulch. Rock and gravel crunches underfoot, making it impossible for someone to move soundlessly around your home. Choosing rock means you will be able to hear if someone is sneaking around where they shouldn't be.
Tip #4: Use open fencing
Open fencing options can be an excellent option where privacy is not tantamount. For example, if you want to fence in your front yard, use open picket fences, chain link fencing, or a low fence that you can easily see over. In areas where you want privacy, tall fences with external cross bars and locked gates are more difficult to climb. You may still want to install a peephole or window in the gate so you can look through to make sure no one is hiding in your yard before entering.
For more landscaping ideas that increase home security, contact a landscaper in your area.