Protect the garden this summer

An insurance provider has reminded gardeners not to get complacent with security as the lighter nights come in.

This Sunday (March 29th) sees the official start of British summertime when the clocks go forward one hour.

With an extra hours gardening time, some may be tempted to leave valuables lying around – a mistake that could prove costly, according to Halifax Home Insurance.

Figures from last year show that garden theft increased significantly (63 per cent) during the summer months and that criminals target everything from barbeques and garden ornaments to plants and tools.

The insurance providers senior claims manager Martyn Foulds advised gardeners aim to make life difficult for thieves by lining the bottom of patio tubs with bricks to make them difficult to steal.

"It is important for homeowners to bear in mind the value of items outside the home as well as inside, as the collective cost of patio furniture, barbecues and childrens play equipment can soon add up," he said, before going on to suggest gardeners ensure that their home insurance covers their outdoor areas too.

The Royal Horticultural Society recently announced a sponsorship partnership with Waitrose supermarkets to help promote gardening in schools.