Wednesday 11 June 2008

Stolen blooms

Yesterday, I photographed this beautiful poppy in order to write about it on my blog. Today, someone has stolen it.

My partner was glancing out of the window when he saw a man walk into my garden with a pair of secateurs, cut off the flowering head of my poppy and then leave. It was all done too quickly for my partner to react. By the time he had got to the front door, the man was gone.
The fact that the man had a pair of secateurs proves it was a planned theft. If he had knocked on my front door and asked politely I might even have given the flower. He would have got what he wanted and I would have felt I had done something good. Instead, I am angry.
I am sure no one who reads my blog would ever steal plants from someone's garden, but it is worthwhile remembering that no one should ever take flowers, plants or seeds that do not belong to them without asking first. Even picking a few wildflowers from a hedgerow can mean there will be fewer plants the next year.
There are many acceptable ways of getting plants for free even if you do not not have your own garden.
You could knock on a front door and ask. You never know, you might make a useful friendship with the garden's owner. You could also ask on Freecycle, a network where people give old things away with the purpose of preventing waste going into landfill sites. There are also seed exchange sites, where people swap seeds and plants.
I've even known people to go dumpster-diving at the back of large garden centres. Retailers often throw plants away if they are a bit too wilted to be saleable, but they can sometimes be saved with a little effort and care. Technically, taking something from someone's rubbish bin is theft just as much as cutting a living bloom from their garden, but it doesn't seem quite so bad to me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is awful! I once had a neighbor/co-worker come into my yard (while I wasn't home) and snip off a few hydrangea buds. She told me the next day but in that voice of "I'm sure you don't mind."

Like hell I do! I bought the plant, fertilized it, mulched it, watered it and looked forward to admiring its beauty--and you took it from me!

Part of me wants to share the beauty of nature with others without being all possessive, but this is just wrong. It's a violation, and the end doesn't justify the means.

Your photo is gorgeous, and I hope there are more poppies to come.