What happened to my allotment is a reminder that it’s not just animal and insect pests we have to worry about in our gardens – humans can be a problem as well. Bob Flowerdew refers to such anti-social individuals as ‘two-legged rats’.

Despite a lock on the gate, my former allotment site was bothered by its fair share of vandalism and theft. I was lucky, in a way, that I didn’t have a shed. My back garden is surrounded by a high fence, and is protected by a gate with a lock. The front garden, of course, is more open.

Coastal mist, lavender and sea grass
My new planters, now painted in Coastal mist, Lavender and Sea Grass

My newly painted planters are destined to live in front of the house – but not until they’re filled with topsoil and too heavy for a casual thief to lift. They’ll be planted with edible goodies, but far enough from the path to be safe, I hope.

Mulching the strip
My other front garden

The other strip of garden at the front is more of a concern. It runs along the path, separated by a low picket fence. I can imagine that anything too tempting (any ‘low hanging fruit’, for example) will quickly disappear, even after it becomes more obvious that this strip of land is being loved and cared for. When I was weeding in there last month I uncovered a bag full of poo, tossed in my some thoughtful dog owner. They were only yards from my wheelie bin, which is easily accessible from the path. I’ve read about gardeners coping with cigarette ends and other trash, and flowers and even entire plants going missing.

I haven’t firmed up my plans for that strip, but they do revolve around perennials, as it’s furthest from the house. I do walk past it on my way to and from work, so it’s not out of sight. I could put some fruit trees in there, or some more undercover edibles, or a collection of ferociously spiky plants to ward off thieves. Whilst I don’t want to worry unduly about antisocial behaviour (and it’s a nice neighbourhood), nor do I want my hard work to go to waste.

Do you have an exposed garden? Have you had any problems with two-legged rats?

Disclosure: This post was produced in association with Barrier Components, but the musings are my own.