When I started off to Farmer’s Market Saturday morning, I noticed that the flowers in the front yard looked a little sad. It has been horribly windy so I figured they had dried out a bit more quickly than I expected and needed a drink. I made a mental note to do some watering when I got back. Upon closer inspection, however, I realized they weren’t merely dry and droopy but they were missing something. Flowers were missing. As I surveyed the stumps where flowers had been just the day before, I realized what had happened. Some time during the evening, someone had made themselves a lovely bouquet with the flowers in my front yard. They helped themselves to most of the bachelor buttons, the gaillardia and the Jupiter’s beard. They clipped some of the ornamental grasses. They had even brought scissors.
At first I was shocked. I couldn’t believe someone would do such a thing. A couple of flowers here and there was one thing. But to clear cut all the lovely blooms was another. Then it made me angry. I wished there was something I could spray on the flowers in case them came back that would give them a terrible rash. It made me sad too. Coming home to those beautiful flowers made me smile. Now they were gone. Sure, they would grow back, but would they be safe?
It seems I’m not alone in experiencing garden thievery. Just yesterday Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl posted a photo of a hole in the ground where her sea holly had been. Carri at Between the Limes tweeted that someone had put broken glass in her veggie garden and she gardens with her daughter. A friend told me how her neighbor has a terrible time losing flowers and persimmons because her tiny front yard is within arms reach of the sidewalk. Do people think that proximity makes it OK? I’ve been told that people gardening at the community garden expect to lose things. A friend told me first you get angry, then you get used to it.
For some reason, some people seem to think that stealing from or vandalizing someone’s garden is alright. It’s only a plant after all. But it’s more than a plant. Gardens give gardeners joy. We nurture and care for our plants because they are living things. We cover them when the nights are too chilly. We vigilantly watch for snails and gophers that might devour them and dispatch the critters without much regret. We scour the internet when a new and unfamiliar disease crops up that we must battle. Now we must protect them from thieves and vandals as well. Somehow it just seems horribly cruel. Because when you steal or damage a person’s garden, you aren’t just destroying mere things. You are destroying something that brings them joy, something they put their heart and soul into, something they love.
To the person or persons that stole my flowers all I can say is that I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. And it would be best if you never came back. Because people like you suck and as Gayla Trail so eloquently put it in her sign to the thief “stealing plants is a low and selfish act.”
Have you been the victim of garden vandalism or thievery? Sound off in the comments section and tell those garden hoodlums how you feel.