As summer approaches, we start to make plans for our summer holidays, barbeques and DIY projects which we have neglected throughout winter, mainly because of the unbearably cold and unenthusiastic weather. As the nights start to draw out however, we have more time to finish these little jobs around the house and garden.
During April I always try to start work on the garden in preparation for the summer. My garden is about 15 meters wide, 100 meters long and slopes gently downhill towards a small river which marks the border of my property and the boundary of the woodland opposite. The first job on my list is to trim the hedges to regain some of the garden which has been overgrown between the end of last summer and the beginning of spring. I learnt my lesson the hard way several years ago and made the ill decision to cut the grass first and then worry about the hedgerow later. Big mistake, I ended up ruining my freshly cut lawn!
Hedgerows and Lawns
So, once my hedges are cut back I generally move all the material I have cut off down to a fire pit at the bottom of the garden to let it all dry out before burning. Next up is the grass; I use a petrol strimmer to begin with to tidy up the borders around the footpath and rockeries before using the ‘heavy artillery’ on the main lawns, a dilapidated but still functional 50cc two stroke mower!
With all the cutting out of the way, and my limbs and fingers hopefully still attached, I put the cut grass in the composter and chop up an remaining wood and stack it in the fire pit. It has become something of a tradition in my house that my friends and family will all come over on the weekend after I have cleared the garden. There’s no real reason, it’s just a good excuse to have a couple of drinks in the sun and catch up on everything that’s going on in people’s lives.
The Great Outdoors
As the sun sets we light the fire pit at the bottom of the garden to burn off everything that has been cut down in the previous days. Because it’s so secluded it’s a nice place to relax, listen to the embers crackling and just enjoy the great outdoors while still being close to the creature comforts that we call home.
When my friends are around and the drinks are flowing it’s hard to think of this relatively secluded area as being menacing, but alone, at night it’s a different story. Luckily I live in the United Kingdom where there aren’t any predators to be found in the wild anymore, the only thing there is to worry about is potential burglars. One big deterrent is the river which runs across the lower boundary; it’s just wide and deep enough to deter all but the most determined opportunistic thieves, I like to think of it as my own private moat!
Thinking About Security?
At the back of my mind there has always been the thought that if someone really wanted to get onto my property and didn’t mind getting wet there wouldn’t be much to stop them. While I didn’t want to erect any fences or other intrusive boundary as a physical barrier I decided instead to focus on the rear of the property. Because I am roughly in the middle of a row of terraced houses there isn’t any issue at front of the property,
I have an insurance approved 5 point lock and a high security cylinder. I decided to mirror this at the back of the house. I fitted a strong 5 point lock to the rear UPVC door, a good quality anti-tamper cylinder and fitted window locks to all ground floor and first floor windows. In addition to the window locks I decided to place small alarms on the pane to alert me if a window is broken.
These little improvements didn’t cost the earth and are not noticeable at all so I haven’t made my home look like a prison in the process which is exactly what I wanted. I also took the time to add a new high strength staple and hasp to my garden shed as an extra little bit of protection, I don’t have much in there but I count it more as a visual deterrent for any brave soul who dare cross the river!
This is a guest post by Sam Ryder who works in the security industry. Sam blogs about different aspects of home security and offers tips and inside knowledge on how best to protect your home at LocksOnline. If you would like to read more of Sam’s blogs, follow him on Twitter.