07:24 – Email from Jen, who happened to look out one of her windows Saturday and noticed a scruffy person trespassing in their yard. Jen went outside, carrying although not pointing her shotgun, and challenged the person. He told her he was looking for some people whom Jen had never heard of. She told him that he was on private property and to clear out. He left without incident, but Jen said she was still shaken when she phoned her husband at his office and the sheriff, in that order.
They already have an alarm system, and Jen is well armed and a competent shooter, but now she’s feeling vulnerable. She’s aware that if the guy was intending to break the law, his intent was probably nothing more than stealing something easy to carry off and resell, but as she said she doesn’t know for sure. He might have been a serial rapist or murderer.
So now she and her husband are talking about possible ways to secure their property. They talked about fencing the perimeter of their property, but doing so would be extremely expensive. And, as I pointed out, a perimeter fence provides no real security against intrusion unless it blocks the entire perimeter, including the drive, and is under constant watch. I suggested that a large male dog or two would do more to discourage intruders than spending tens of thousands of dollars on a fence.
I told her that if they want to limit access to their property, a living fence, AKA hedge, is much cheaper and much, much more effective than any affordable fence. Something like trifoliate orange or pyracantha, planted close together in a double or triple row, will stop just about anything, including vehicles. The only real downside is that it takes a while to get established and grow to a useful size.