A spate of thefts in Bromley led local Police to warn gardeners to lock up their garden sheds it was reported in the local paper, the Elmbridge Guardian. With the number of garden related burglaries in the Elmbridge district up in the previous 3 months with 22 garden related in Thames Ditton and 15 in Weston Green near Esher. Most of these incidents took place mainly during daylight hours, I would assume whilst people were out at work or at the local shops, rather than during the night and many involved forced entry into the garden sheds and workshops or even through the back doors of the victim’s house from the rear garden. Even in Bristol these events are taking place.
Tannia Shipley, local councillor for the area, told the paper that she would urge people to ensure all property and garden sheds are secured with good locks. It makes sense that these are implemented at all times. It will also be a good idea to get to know your local community and to find out who is vulnerable in your area. The increase in garden burglaries is typical and often rises at Christmas time and during these wintery days where people tend to stay in more and it tends to be a little more dismal outside.
Only recently Cotswold Police also recommended the use of strong garden shed locks, window grills and shed alarms to help protect valuable items from being stolen from outdoors buildings and garden sheds. They stressed that thieves see these buildings as easy targets.
1st Choice Garden Sheds recommend that sheds should have non returnable screws on the hinges or the cross heads or slots drilled out. Or replace at least 2 of the screws in the hinges with nuts and bolts with a penny washer on the inside. Use bolts on the hasp and staple as well and preferably use the fold over hasp and staple. Secure with a large waterproof padlock, ideally with a combination lock, or key. Obscure the windows so thieves can’t see in using newspaper or blinds or you could even paint the shed windows with greenhouse paint which can be very effective and this still allows some light to come in.
Remove any valuables or secure them to the shed or, if possible, put them in a brick built Bromley building. If you are unable to remove the most valuable items you could bolt a couple of D shaped fixing eyes to the floor, preferably direct to the concrete. You would then be able to use an extra long bicycle wire or chain to secure bikes, mowers and other power tools to them. A battery operated shed alarm is also a good deterrent but ensure you can hear it from the house.
Have you been burgled? If so what steps have you taken to combat a repeat? Do you know who are your local community and who is vulnerable?
The answer to whether nature should be allowed to take its course in Bromley is YES according to gardening expert Monty Don. Nowadays there is belief that nature is right and more and more people are following his advice. An unfortunate stroke by the horticulturist and TV presenter stopped him tending his garden as he would have wished. I’m sure his garden shed would have been left alone as well where gardening tools would have been kept. When he spoke to the Telegraph in 2009, Mr Don claimed that trying to control nature was like fighting a losing battle whatever you are trying to grow, whether it’s the flowering plant, wisteria, through to wheat for food production. He went on to say – why shouldn’t we allow borders to self seed. People believe that weeds are a plant growing in the wrong place, I heard recently that a weed is a flower not discovered yet, Mr Don takes the view that perhaps there are no wrong place, either way there does seem to be a lot of sense in taking a different view.
The gardening expert has taken the decision to stop mulching, which is where a loose covering of materials is put on cultivated soil to help control weeds, to ensure that seedlings are not suppressed. This will allow the garden to thrive naturally.
Mr Don, who was born in 1955, and is now 56 gave up his position at the Gardeners World as presenter at the start of 2008. His career and television work had taken him all over the world where he had visited 80 different gardens. He returned to Gardeners World in 2011 where his return was welcomed by many.
When you realise how delicate life is we really need to make the most of our lives when we are active. Tending to the garden is a great form of natural exercise and by having a garden shed where you can have a chair to sit on you can also relax and enjoy the more natural aspect of gardening as well. We need to remember to make the most of our time whether in Bromley or anywhere else.