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Home Security Starts in the Landscape

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Low Maximum Height Plants

Homeowners should maintain the visibility of windows and access spots hidden in and around the exterior of your home. Consider planting low maximum-height plant materials in and around the foundation of your home to maintain an attractive curb appeal without planting overgrown shrubs that make for unwanted hiding spots. By controlling the plant size you can still achieve a good balance between landscape and security, allowing little room for a burglar to screen themselves behind over-sized plantings. To add another layer of deterrence, by using what's called armored plants (those with barbs or thorns such as Holly's (Ilex cornuta rotunda), under a home's windows or at the base of a privacy fence, another layer of deterrence is created, while enhancing the home's landscape.

Perimeter Boundary and Fencing

One important way to maximize security on your property is to create a perimeter boundary which could be fencing, a type of masonry wall or a dense evergreen shrub hedge, sometimes a combination of two can be very attractive and very affective at deterring would be thieves, especially when used adjacent to a barbed plant material. Having a complete boundary the homeowner can now have controlled access to the property much more effectively and eliminate unwanted persons wandering on to your property. Creating this boundary can be especially useful if the property is in a high pedestrian or vehicular traffic area of a city or large suburban neighborhood and as an added benefit, can significantly reduce unwanted street noise as well.

Controlled Access or Gated Entry

While it is important to have an inviting entry to guests, it is also equally important to not make it too easy for would be thieves to access your property. When used in conjunction with a perimeter boundary a controlled entry point helps the homeowner monitor when and if someone enters the property. Make this controlled entry visible from windows and doors within the home; avoid clutter in and around the entry, reduce dead end spaces or over planted entryways and allow for generous space that is well lighted at night.

An electronic locked gate can add another level of sophistication to the security if needed. Persons wishing to enter would have to ring a buzzer or speak with someone in the house through an intercom system before gaining access even to the garden much less the front door. There are many materials with which you can create a gate; however decorative wrought iron and aluminum can be shaped into many beautiful forms that are both visually pleasing and effective at controlling access points.

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