Picture a traditional security barrier. What do you see? You might see a chain-link fence. You might imagine a tall white wall littered with rotating cameras. You might even picture an electrified metal fence.
What do all of those images have in common? They’re effective, to be sure, but there’s more to the visual story here. Those materials are, well, ugly. They don’t fit the mold of what you likely want for your own home’s landscaping, and they would likely violate a local ordinance if you tried to install them.
Luckily, you can find the perfect perimeter protection – especially from pesky animals – in the form of prickly plants. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular prickly plants for security use.
Pyracantha is a very hardy plant. It’s an evergreen, meaning that it will stay green in the winter as well as the summer, and generally grows well in both the sun and the shade, so you don’t need to worry too much about the sunlight on your property.
Pyracantha is also a plant around which you will want to be careful; it grows two-inch spikes amongst its thick branches. It’s not the kind of plant you would want in your garden, unless you use it as a wall to keep people out. Luckily, that’s exactly the role Pyracantha can fill to a T.
While many people associate Agave with sweetness – it will produce edible flowers during its final season – the Agave plant itself can be a good deterrent for a number of encroachers. These grow particularly well in Mexico and the American southwest as they’re better suited for dryer climates. The Agave comes in a number of varieties, many of which feature leaves that are hard and prickly – just the way you want them.
If you don’t want your security plants to look like security plants, you might want to consider growing Berberis. This plant can be very colorful, depending on which type of species you’re growing, and grow shorter spikes that provide security without drawing too much attention. As the Berberis is an evergreen, like the Pyracantha, you won’t have to worry about it becoming useless in winter.
If you like your hedge to offer some color in early spring, then Blackthorn may be the security plant for you. Despite its name, Blackthorn actually grows white flowers in early spring, which can look great as a hedge for your property. The visually-frightening thorns work well as a deterrent to unwanted visitors, of course, but a chief advantage to Blackthorn is that it can be easily spread over a larger property with minimal investment of time.
No matter which plant you decide to use for your security, remember that you can interweave your plant-growing layout with your security plans. The hedge of your garden can be a hidden wall that both keeps out unwanted visitors and keeps your property looking as attractive as it ever.