July 1, 2014 at 6:55 pm #17609
My home is in climate zone 9.
There’s a narrow strip of ground giving access between the front and back of the house between the garage and the neighbour’s fence. It doesn’t get much light, and is quite damp. Here I’ve planted a number of Oregon Grape plants, which will grow into a very dense barrier of spiky bushes.
Behind the garage, that bank along the fence allows oversight into the back garden, as well as access to someone climbing over the fence. Here, I’ve planted several stands of clumping bamboo, which should block sight lines, as well as obstruct intrusion.
On the other side of the house is another gap between house and a lower fence. This side of the house is more visible from the road, and gets more light. I plan to put in posts with a broad wire mesh between them; I’ll then plant north-facing varieties of climbing rose bushes and train them up the wire. This will functionally be barbed wire, but won’t be so objectionable for the neighbours.
My problem is the front of the house. It has large glass windows with latches that would be easy to access for anyone who breaks the window. I can’t afford to replace them. I’m unsure what would be the best plant to put in front of them; it would need to be a pot and plant combination that would be too difficult to move, and too much trouble to get through for any potential intruder – whilst also being affordable, visually acceptable to the neighbours, and not blocking legitimate access along the front of the house. As you’ll gather, rather than making the house impenetrable (which would be ludicrously expensive), my strategy is to try to make access too much hard work, so that at least casual would-be intruders go somewhere else instead…
What are your experiences with this? Suggestions for zone 9 welcomed!July 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm #17628
Barberry or Pyracantha?July 1, 2014 at 8:58 pm #17629
Mahonia aquifoliumJuly 1, 2014 at 9:14 pm #17632
That One GuyVeteran
Consider some of the bigger-spined varieties of Opuntia (aka “Prickly Pear”). I’m in Zone 6a/5b, and even up here I can get some of ‘em to survive our winters as long as they’re in raised beds to prevent root rot. You’ll want an upright-growing variety, rather than the prostrate ones.
Nice bonuses: the flowers are pretty and the fruits are edible/fermentable.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.July 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm #17661
Or do like the early settlers in the Southwest did to protect their livestock, use Ocotilla plants, maybe not as much mass as a prickly pear, but the spines are more noticeable.
RobJuly 2, 2014 at 2:19 am #17708
Bugambilia tree, plant them close to the windows and no one will try to get though them. Thorns are about 1″ to 2″ long and sharp. I am in Miami Florida it is zone 10 and they grow well here. Also once you own one you can cut a branch and plant the branch. The branch will grow into another tree. Flowers last long and come in many colors.July 2, 2014 at 11:59 am #17755
This is a really interesting topic. I live in a subtropical / tropical zone 11 area. We are using Bougainvillea and mix it up with some barbwire in some areas to deny easy access.
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")July 2, 2014 at 8:30 pm #17773
Jay that is the same tree I am using which I call Bugambilia so same tree. They are great and burglars do not to come close to them. In your link you will see the way I spelled it. Maybe the Mexicans used the name here and everyone calls them that name.July 2, 2014 at 10:28 pm #17776
Using the bamboo works but before it grows you should string a 3 layer razor wire fence and let the bamboo grow over it add a few tin cans for noise….July 3, 2014 at 12:28 am #17780
try teddy bear cholla . Be careful what type of prickly pear you plant , there is the type that grows up to 8 feet tall …..but has no thorns , get the regular type with heavy thorn clusters , think like if you were laying out WW1 barbed wire . Get low cactus like the barrel in the very front , then mid leg hight cactus , such as the prickly pear just behind it , then the waist and chest hight monsters like teddy bear cholla behind that . Cholla is the nastiest cactus on earth lol .July 3, 2014 at 11:25 am #17812
With a view towards the future, try not to plant anything against a fence, but allow some clearance for a fully grown plant. Where I am everyone plants along the fence line without any thought towards the idea that eventually the fence will have to be replaced from age, and it’s a hell of a job to protect the plants from damage or destruction during the rebuilding process. Also be careful how you plant any bamboo as I’ve been told that it spreads like crazy and is difficult to control or eradicate.
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!July 5, 2014 at 7:12 am #17914
Thanks for the replies! The prickly pear seems to be a good candidate, and suitable for the climate!
As for the bamboo: yes, that was a concern, and I did a bit of research before selecting the varieties for planting. Both are clumping rather than running varieties so, I hope, won’t go berserk…July 5, 2014 at 9:16 am #17915
Great topic .
Where I live, 40 km southeast of Lisbon- Portugal, we have a sort of micro climate with swings from -5ºC in January to +45ºC in August.
My house is bordered by neighbours ot the left and right, where concrete and brick walls about 1m50 tall are topped with barbed wire which in turn is covered by grapevines and ivy up to the legal limit of a 2 metre height. These can be raised almost indefinitely by simply splicing vertical extensions of wire.
The back wall confines with an empty field where sometimes sheep will come to graze. I have olive, cedar and pyracantha trees, numerous but not yet very dense, all along the wall with barbed wire tangled in a haphazard pattern through the mesh of limbs and branches.
The front border of the property goes along parallel to the street. There are two gates, one solid cast iron with tight vertical bars and diagonal reinforcement, the other not so hardened, compact until half-height (1m) and steel grid (very thin, only 3mm thick and easily countered with a bolt cutter) from there upwards. The grid is covered with very old and thick ivy limbs and leaves, which extend from that gate (far end of the wall) to the main one (near end) in at least four layers of crisscrossing plants. I have opted for keeping a “killing ground” between the front border and the house (ten meters open lawn) because I have pine between which fishing lines with hooks could be hung to deter or detect invaders. Also, it makes for an optimal shooting range just in case…
Some of the suggestions presented here are very interesting, but I may have trouble finding the plants.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.July 5, 2014 at 1:24 pm #17919
Also , dont forget Ocatillo , they dont call it the living fence for nothing . Then pricly pear in front of that . Oh ! for all you yankees out there planning a trip to the Southwest …………..tip from a life long desert dweller …………..Dont wear shorts or sandals in the desert !July 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm #17934
Hang some of them on fishing wire and you would hear them screaming down the block!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.