Spring starts next week, although if you live in an area like mine, that sounds too good to be true. Still, the calendar states that it will in fact be spring as of March 20th, and that means people are looking out at their yards and thinking about ways to spruce it up or improve it this year.
As home security is top of mind for us, as a home security systems provider, we encourage you to consider the security and safety of your home when making landscaping choices or when doing maintenance. Keep these tips in mind as the weather warms up and you head outside to add to your home’s curb appeal:
Tip 1: Forget the privacy screen
If you think you want the front of your house screened from the road and sidewalk, think again. Only refer back to our post in which a former burglar gives the scoop on which houses are most appealing to and you’ll see that burglars prefer a house with a privacy screen, whether that screen is made from a tall fence or a thick hedge.
Sure, you might gain some privacy for your front yard and porch, but so does the burglar, who can now go about breaking into your home without anyone seeing him or her.
Tip 2: Trim those bushes
Any bushes, shrubs, trees or tall plants that provide a hiding place near a door or window should be cut back—way back. Otherwise you’ve only created a cozy place for a burglar to find cover while breaking in. This applies to any shrubbery around outbuildings too, such as your garage or a toolshed that might have valuable tools or equipment.
Tip 3: Eliminate the trip hazards
Landscaping isn’t only about what you choose to plant, but also how and where. Carefully plan what you’re planting where so you’re not dragging hoses around and leaving them where people can trip over them later. Steer clear of planting anything that drops a lot of leaves or petals near a sidewalk where that can make for a slippery surface. Also be aware of the downsides of plants. I once had a very pretty barberry bush that a previous owner had planted in a flowerbed next to the driveway. When I moved in, it was an issue because it had thorns, and my kids played near it when little.
Tip 4: Also consider the allergens
To maintain your sanity, carefully plan your yard so you don’t plant anything that’s going to cause an allergic reaction. As with the tips we covered recently on reducing allergens in the home, we suggest minimizing allergens outside the home too, by making smart landscaping choices. Avoid planting anything that leads to lightweight pollen blowing in the wind. Trees to avoid include male maples and ash trees, as well as birch trees. Instead choose trees like dogwood and magnolia trees. For flowers, consider low-allergen blooms such as astible, columbine and impatiens. Find a reputable nursery, and ask the staff to help you make choices that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction later.
Spring is coming and summer will soon follow, so yes, you want to start getting your yard ready for that outdoor living now. Just make good choices as you do so, choices that take into account your home security, your family’s safety, and your exposure to the pollens and dust that can have you sneezing rather than enjoying a lovely spring day.