Discourage Thieves: 30 Thorny Bushes

Posted on May 10, 2018 in Gardening

Discourage Thieves: 30 Thorny Bushes

It seems when the thin blue line just isn’t enough in the fight against crime, a prickly green one might be just the thing.

Police have begun issuing gardening tips to householders designed to help cut back burglary rates.

The Metropolitan Police guidelines on ‘How to stop garden thieves’ says that people can ‘make their home more secure’ by planting giant rhubarb – which has ‘abrasive foliage’ – and ‘spiny’ gooseberry bushes.

The list of officially approved defensive plants also includes the fearsome sounding Firethorn.

The advice – which even gives the Latin name for the plants and bushes – states: ‘Your garden, as well as your house, has valued possessions that thieves would love to steal.

‘It also has equipment that could help them break into your house.

‘Most burglars are lazy. They look for easy ways of getting into a house or garden and by taking a few simple precautions you can reduce the risk of being burgled and make your house and garden more secure.’

It adds: ‘One of the best ways to keep thieves out is to use nature’s own defence mechanisms to stop intruders.

‘A barrier of prickly hedge may be all the protection you need around your property.’

But the advice comes with a tongue in cheek warning: ‘We have tried to identify the plants mentioned by their correct botanical name, but we cannot guarantee that the plant you buy will not grow into a small, fragrant flowering shrub with no more thorns than a daisy.’

It continues: ‘Although they will take some time to grow, the end result justifies the effort. They should deter even the most determined burglar.

‘Hedges and shrubs in the front garden should be kept to a height of no more than three feet in order to avoid giving a burglar a screen behind which he can conceal himself.’

Creeping Juniper – Juniperis horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’ – Also known as ‘Blue Rug’, has a thorny stem and foliage.

Blue Spruce – Picea pungens ‘Globosa’ – Rigid branches, irregular dense blue, spiky needles.

Common Holly – Ilex agulfolium – Large evergreen shrub, dark green spiked leaves.

Giant Rhubarb – Gunnera manicata – Giant rhubarb-like leaves on erect stems, abrasive foliage. Can grow up to 2.5m high.

Golden Bamboo – Phyllostachys aurea- Very graceful, forming thick clumps of up to 3.5m high. Less invasive than other bamboos.

Chinese Jujube – Zizyphus sativa – Medium sized tree with very spiny pendulous branches.

Firethorn – Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’ – Flowers white in June, with bright orange-red berries. Thorny stem.

Shrub Rose – Rosa ‘Frau Dagmar Hastrup’ – Excellent ground cover, pale pink flowers, very thorny stem. May to September.

Pencil Christmas Tree – Picea abias ‘Cupressina’ – Medium-sized tree of columnar habit, with ascending spiky branches.

Juniper – Juniperus x media ‘Old Gold’ – Evergreen. Golden-tipped foliage. Prickly foliage.

Purple Berberis – Berberis thunbergil ‘Atropurpurea’- Has a thorny stem.

Mountain Pine – Pinus mugo ‘Mughus’- Is a very hardy, large shrub or small tree, with long sharp needles.

Blue Pine – Picea pungens ‘Hoopsii’- Small to medium-sized tree, spiky needled stem, densely conical habit, with vividly glaucous blue leaves. Likes moist, rich soil.

Oleaster – Elaeagnus angustifolia – Small deciduous tree, about 4.5 to 6 m (15 to 20 feet) that is hardy, wind resistant, tolerant of poor, dry sites, and thus useful in windbreak hedges.

Blackthorn – Prunus spinosa – Also called Sloe; spiny shrub. Its dense growth makes it suitable for hedges.

Fuschia-flowered Gooseberry – Ribes speciosum – Fruit bush, spiny, produces greenish to greenish-pink flowers in clusters of two or three.

The following thorny plants can also be considered: Aralia, Chaenomeles, Colletia, Crataegus (including hawthorn/may), Hippophae (sea buckthorn), Maclura, Mahonia, Oplopanax, Osmanthus, Poncirus, Rhamnus, Rosa (climbing & shrub roses), Rubus (bramble), Smilax Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum).

For more information and advice on how to protect your home by protecting your garden visit: The Metropolitan Police guidelines: Protect your home by protecting your garden

Should you require assistance with your garden maintenance please call us on 0845 604 1288 or visit Protech Garden Solutions to find out about our garden services.