Tips to fight the worst garden parasite – the thief

If you have a shed, try to screen its windows
If you have a shed, try to screen its windows
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CrookS love gardens and all the lovely things they contain – victims of such theft now number more than one million every year.

So it’s time for the gardeners to fight back. Be on our guard in the garden and take note what you can – and should – do to safeguard what’s yours.

And you can start by making the most of nature and letting it work for you. Use thorny plants such as Berberis, holly and blackthorn to grow hedges to protect your garden.

Put roses and spiky Pyracantha under windows to deter thieves and create barriers. Other plants that you can help form part of your garden’s defences include pampas and gooseberry bushes.

If you have a shed, try to screen its windows, so that thieves cannot see what you’ve got in there.

Don’t leave doors and windows open while out in the garden, or leave keys on view, or under the plant pot – the first place a thief will look.

Mark your lawnmower and other valuable gardening machines and implements with distinctive motifs in paint, or use ultraviolet markings to show that it’s yours, then, if it’s pinched, it can be easier to identify.

Alarm any outbuildings that contain high-value items and make sure they are insured. Install security lights as a deterrent.

Place heavy weights in the base of expensive pots, to make them difficult to move. Protect any valuable statues of sculptures with wireless, sensory alarms.

Photograph your valuable garden items – if they are stolen, it will make it easier for the police to identify them and, hopefully, catch the crook(s). Gardens can cost thousands to create and maintain – make sure it’s you who gets the benefit.