Theft in the garden

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by joecat, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. joecat

    joecat Active Member

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    I thought only expensive plants like cycads were at risk...

    A couple weeks a go, I had a planter go missing. "Weird, but no big deal," I thought, "I hope they are at least enjoying it."

    Yesterday, while I was moving some plants around, I stopped to look at the progress my Blue Mouse Ears hosta was making, as I always do. The plant was the one thing I decided to buy on last year at Southlands after our club tour of the nursery. I was a little confused and thought I had forgotten the spot where I planted it, but after looking up and down the bed, I thought maybe I stepped on it, but there was no tag to be found either, just a little depression in the dirt where the plant used to be. Gone. Tag and all.

    I just had to vent about this.

    Lesson learned - remove tags. It's less likely to go walkies if other people don't know what it is.

    I dream of catching a wouldbe plant thief redhanded and giving that person a piece of my mind, but until then protect your plants!
     
  2. joecat

    joecat Active Member

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    I just have to add that I am at a bit of a loss at who would steal plants. I mean, if you garden you probably have the financial means to garden or at least make do with what you can afford, and I can't see it having much resale value -- the bottles in my blue bin are probably worth more.

    Would a plant lover really hurt a fellow plant lover like that? :(
     
  3. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about your loss joecat. Maybe you need to buy a pitbull ; )
    They must be stupid or lazy to leave the cycad and take a hosta...

    Ed
     
  4. joecat

    joecat Active Member

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    Thanks Ed. I don't have a cycad, but I have heard about them getting stolen!

    I'm not even angry -- it's just incredulous.
     
  5. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    That really bites, Joecat. I've had entire citrus trees stolen, as well as slips off my mulberries, and pups from my bananas. Then I borrowed a big dog and planted Euphorbia tirucalli as a fence. The thefting stopped, but I saw some fairly welted-up and sheepish guys in the village in the weeks afterwards....
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Brilliant!

    PS congrats on the 1,000th post!
     
  7. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Theft of plants does make the mind ponder. That kind of deviant behavour is not typical of plant people / gardeners. I guess there's always one in a crowd.
    I'd heard there was trouble regarding theft from public planting areas a decade or so ago, but nothing recently to my knowledge.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  8. et2007

    et2007 Active Member

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    I used to grow Aloe plant for cut and burn, being chicken when it come to pain i rarely get cut or burn until one day i got cut, running out to my port only there was no Aloe.
     
  9. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    For a plant thief true story read The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession . Orchid thieves were, and likely still are, a major problem in areas such as Miami, FL. I've had people try to break into my atrium and my guess was they were trying to get to my orchids during the winter months. I've gotten to the point I no longer tag the really rare plants. I just photograph them and keep a hidden record of what they are. Of course many of my plants are on the internet, but not the truly rare specimens. I know several serious collectors in the Miami area that rarely allow visitors since they grow some of the rarest aroids on the planet. And of course there is Impatiens psittacina, the rare Thailand Parrot Flower. I know of a total of one person in the United States who has ever grown it and that person refuses to show it to anyone except a very select group of rare plant enthusiasts. And I was never offered an invitation!
     
  10. et2007

    et2007 Active Member

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    I'm obsession with plant but also too chicken to be a plant thief. The best i can do is asking for a cutting from friends, also too chicken to ask from people i don't know.
     
  11. Quincys Slave

    Quincys Slave Active Member

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    That seems to be a bit of a problem in the lower mainland. I live in south Delta and there's always angry letters to the editor in our local paper "thanking" some thief for stealing a plant. In Tsawwassen there is a lovely street close to the beach that used to have a beautiful community garden down the center boulevard, most of it was stolen last year.
     
  12. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    I live in Vancouver and I used to find that when I bought plants from a store and planted them out front, where anyone who passed by regularly would see at once that they had just arrived, many would disappear within 24 hours. It was believed that the culprits were the two elderly ladies who stripped every grape vine on the block each year. I try to be liberal but fire bombing the house of whoever did it, if they could be identified with certainly, would strike me as very very moderate punishment.
     
  13. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  14. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    That is really so sad.
     
  15. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    How awful. Firebombing the culprits would be mild punishment.
     
  16. Steven

    Steven Member

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    I don't understand it either why someone would steal somethin from someone else's garden. That's just wrong.
     
  17. nic

    nic Active Member 10 Years

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    Most gardeners are hugely generous; I've lost track of how many plants I've got from people who've said "I'll give you a bit of that when it's big enough to divide" or "here, take a cutting". Most of my propagation techniques were taught to me by more experienced gardeners saying "oh, it's easy, take a bit and do this". Much pleasure comes from going round the garden and noting that that came from my sister's garden, or my mother's, or a friend's.(And from going round other gardens and saying "I gave you that. Isn't it doing well!") And that's how you learn, by looking and listening.
    So where's the pleasure in thinking "I stole that from a public planting, and that from no37, and that from the big house on the corner?"
     
  18. et2007

    et2007 Active Member

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    It's so wrong but still happen a lots out there. Last week someone just parked the car in front of my mom apt. and went up stair carries all of her herbs pods just like it belong to her. That what a neighbor said and she thought my mom give it away.

    But last Sunday i was in the store and the lady got her purse back that she leaved in the shopping cart and some customer returned, returned not walk away with it. So still hope out there.
     
  19. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If something can be moved, however large, it can get stolen. And even if it can't be moved, it can still get stolen. Such is life. :-(

    Once heard of one of those big tower cranes (used for building skyscrapers) getting stolen. If thieves can do that, they can do anything.
     
  20. Creeping Jenny

    Creeping Jenny Active Member

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    Some people are so rude! Im scared to plant at the side if my house because it is next to a public path. I would be so ticked if someone took my plants, or some kid smashed them for fun on the way by.
     
  21. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    My strategies for avoiding plant thievery include not labelling the plants in the front yard, using plants there that I like less and could bear to lose, planting ugly duckling specimens rather than pristine ones that fly-by-night landscapers might want to use, planting things I value greatly in more than one place, and also - sharing! Any time I've given away a division or cutting of something I feel like I've got plant insurance. But it isn't possible to entirely avoid being vulnerable, so a spycam is on the list of things to buy.
     
  22. et2007

    et2007 Active Member

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    I'm the same way about plants insurance by division or cutting.
     
  23. joecat

    joecat Active Member

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    Thanks for all your messages. My partner tried to convince me that some animal probably dug it up, but I doubt that an animal would have picked that particular hosta, and not touched the others.

    Lorax: I was thinking of a barberry, but I like your idea of the Euphorbia tirucalli -- much more subtle, cerebral and satisfying.

    et007: sorry about the aloe -- we grow these plants for our own use and enjoyment and it is so disappointing to have them taken.
    About the lady carrying off the herbs -- people have lost the contents of their houses or offices in broad daylight because theives are bold enough to just look like they are supposed to be carrying off the items they are stealing.
    Also, thanks for the reminder that there are good people in the world.

    And yes, giving away divisions and cuttings is like insurance. And I'm sure the receiver would be glad to return the favour if you have a need to replace the plant!

    Daniel: That story about the volunteer being robbed is horrible. I'm glad no one was hurt.

    Nic: I don't believe that it was a home gardener -- we all have plants that we love, but we buy them, or ask friends and neighbours for them, or wait until we have the budget for them. Like you said, I can't imagine someone enjoying a plant that they know someone misses.

    KarinL: love the spy cam idea. Heh, what about a "Bait Garden" program? "Bait plants. Steal one. Go to jail."

    Well, I better go out and remove tags from any plants that might tempt a would-be thief. Hmm...where has my 'Green Spice' heuchera gone? (I can't remember when I last saw it. Dang, I really liked that plant -- heucheras are really robust - they don't just die, do they? Am I just forgetful? Going crazy?)
     
  24. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    On the other side of the coin, I had someone deposit a whole heap of Tillandsia, Old Mans Beard, into my letter box a couple of years ago!! I don't know who it was or why, even to this day, but I was grateful...

    Ed
     
  25. joecat

    joecat Active Member

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    Random acts of horticultural kindness! I love it....

    Weed thy neighbour('s garden).
     

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