Fortify with Foliage

  1. GPS1504
    Your home is your castle. You have worked hard for the possessions you have and refuse to stand for someone trying to take them away. Because of this, you safeguard what you own, be it vehicles, home furnishings, or anything else of value. Your doors are locked. Motion lights have been installed. Video surveillance records those who come and go. All of this seems like adequate deterrent, but what is truly adequate to stop those who are desperate and have nothing to lose? What about those who simply think they can out-gun you and strong arm your possessions into their arms as they flee?

    In truth, battle can ensue during a home invasion that can get quite messy. Blood very well may be shed by both you and your assailant. The best thing to do, in addition to maintaining vigilant watch over your home and property, is to make sure they start bleeding first, long before they ever cross the threshold into your home. You can do this by planting a series of nasty shrubs and trees that will be rather painful to traverse and can result in cut, torn flesh, possibly discouraging someone from pushing through and trying to enter your home.

    Some examples of bushes that bite back are as follows:

    Cactus is a prickly plant that can do great at deterring intruders or ruining their day. Depending on the type of cactus, you could be stuck with a long, sharp spine or several smaller, finer spines. If you ever have doubts as to the sharpness of a cactus, all you have to do is touch one for confirmation. As a kid living in Las Vegas, I placed my foot on a barrel cactus thinking it could do me no harm. Wrong. The spines went through the thick soul of my sneaker and deep into my foot before I knew what happened.

    Aralia Spinosa, AKA Devil\'s Walking Stick, has stout, sharp spines on not only its leaf stalks but also the stems and branches. If these exist near second story windows or balconies, anyone who tries to climb it will be sorry they did.

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    Pyracanth, which is also known as the Fire Thorn Bush, is a large, thorny, evergreen shrub that readily shares a burning sensation with the capability of lasting several hours.

    Holly is a great shrub to plant outside of windows as it makes an excellent hedge row that will poke, scratch, and cut you from every angle as you wade in or out of it. Each leaf has several unpleasant feeling spines on it.

    Vines of both blackberry and raspberry grow sharp thorns. If you opt to plant these, you will have a food source in addition to protection, but you, too, will have to brave the thorns to collect berries.

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    Catclaw Acacia is a nasty little tree with hooked thorns in the shape of a cat\'s claw that will grab passersby, snagging and tearing both clothing and skin alike.

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    Bougainvillea is great when it comes to surprising one with thorns.
    Their colorful flowers distract from the sharp dangers that lurk within.


    Argentine Mesquite Trees grow large, up to 40 feet, and also grow large thorns. These thorns can easily reach a couple of inches long and are painfully sharp.

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    Black Locust trees have pairs of spines at the base of each leaf that can cause swelling and irritation if contacted. It also produces legume-type pods that are toxic if consumed.

    The nastiest tree of all, the Honey Locust, grows thorns that can reach a painful length of up to seven inches. These thorns can be single, split off into several points, or clustered tightly and will swiftly ruin your day.

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    Utilizing these thorny options will depend on the region of the country in which you live as not all of these plants exist nation-wide. Relying on sharp plants to save your hide might not seem realistic, but if your house is harder to access than the next guy\'s because you planted some wicked shrubbery, their purpose has been served. It does not necessarily take an army to run the bad guy off; sometimes all it takes is an inconvenience. Fortify your home with foliage and be that inconvenience.

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