Stealing Plants? You Suck.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I took advantage of the overcast conditions on Saturday afternoon to plant out some perennials into the street garden. And since I just used the words street garden (along with the above photo) you can probably predict where this is going.

The next morning I went outside, looked over at the garden, and found a large gaping hole where a large, beautiful (so, so beautiful), and terribly prickly sea holly (Eryngium) ‘Big Blue’ had been planted the day before. I hope whomever stole it poked their eye out on the way home. No, I don’t mean to wish anything that terrible on them. Yes I do. No, but… Yes, but… No, but…

Ironically enough, I bought that plant (it cost $15 on sale) BECAUSE it is such a hardy, prickly bad ass mother of a plant. Surely no one would attempt to damage it in the way they have so many other plants in the garden. Little did I imagine that someone would just take the entire thing outright. And when I bought it, I also announced that this was the last plant I was going to buy for that garden. “Never again!”, I proclaimed. Freebies only from here on out.

Soon after I vented my frustration about the theft on Twitter, responses started to pour in from gardeners who have also had plants stolen from their gardens. Some have lost several plants to theft. This bewilders me. What gardener would steal an entire plant from another gardener to replant in their own? Aren’t we better than that? I’ve dealt with a lot of bull in the approximately ten years I’ve been growing that garden, but it never occurred to me that the damage could (or would) come from a fellow gardener. Surely someone who has put labor, time, effort, money, and emotional attachment into growing their own little patch of land understands what a blow that would be to another gardener.

I have long said that in the act of gardening in such a public space, I have learned more about human psychology than I have about growing plants. I have experienced care, helpfulness, interest, connection, and generosity from my community through the garden. But I have also experienced the negative impact of how messed up, selfish, aggressive, destructive, and narcissistic some people can be. When my garden has come under attack, I have learned a thing or two about myself — what pushes my buttons and what I can withstand. And I suppose I am still learning this last lesson as I keep announcing I am done and will never garden there again only to go back in and try again. And again. And again. Resiliency, stupidity, an intense need to garden, or all of the above? Whatever it is I am done complaining.

Yesterday, after we found the gaping hole, Davin went home and made a sign for me. Bless him. It’s a nice sign that says what I wanted to say but couldn’t. If I had tried to make a sign at that time it would have come out as a string of expletives. Since so many of you have responded with your own stories of garden treachery and the need to place a sign, I thought I would make it available here as a printable download. It won’t last forever, but should last long enough to get the message out.

Please feel free to vent about a recent theft from your garden below.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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86 thoughts on “Stealing Plants? You Suck.

  1. The only theft I have was a few strawberry plants from my community garden plot–just a few minutes prior to it being my plot. Someone dug up a few plants before I got there to lay claim to them.

    But, I am always rewarded with a crushed or broken or dug-up plant when I go to my garden at the local frozen yogurt shop, Mr. Yogato. Why would people put their butts or bookbags on a bed of flowering tulips, Fritillaria, and Crocuses? I have learned my lesson, too–public spaces = free plants that you don’t particularly care about only.

  2. I know I expressed my frustration for you on twitter, but I felt the need to do it again here. It SUCKS when somebody hurts something you care so much about, especially when they don’t even seem to realize that somebody cares about it. When I was in Van I had several plants stolen and damaged (potted and planted in ground) for no apparent reason. It’s like somebody you don’t know just walking up to you on the street and spitting on your face, then leaving without even saying a word. You just end up standing there dumbfounded thinking “why would anybody do that?”

  3. How lame! I love the sign; either people will get it or they won’t.
    We’ve had ‘plant theivery’ in our community – but it was the whole flower box full of soil & still attached to a section of railing & not just one, but 4. Those suckers must have weighed at least 50 pounds!!
    I’m just trying to figure out how this person will use the flower boxes because to display them would just let us know they were stolen!

  4. It’s funny, the only plant I ever had stolen from my front garden was also a sea holly. Are these things worth money on the black market or something?
    I wish I had thought of that sign. Now I only plant the really good plants in back of the house.
    So sad.

  5. That’s terrible sweets. I hope that the plant stolen goes into to shock when replanted by the thief and dies. I also hope the plant had a fungus or bugs and it spreads to the rest of their garden and kills everything:)

  6. A few years back, someone stole a potted baby sequoia from my front steps in San Francisco. I was surprisingly heartbroken and angry about the theft.

    I still have a hard time understanding why anyone would steal an inexpensive ($5 at the Muir Woods gift shop), but very sentimentally valuable baby tree (he had a name tag, “Maximus”, and a measuring stick so I could document his growth). Eventually I imagined that some homeless person “adopted” him and the two of them had shopping cart adventures around the city. Sort of silly but it made me feel better.

  7. I’m so sorry that the plant was stolen. You’re doing a public service, and this is how you get rewarded. Shame on that low-down thief.

  8. Last summer someone stole an ‘autumn joy’ seedum from my front yard. Why steal such a cheap plant. One that any gardener will divide and give you for free.

  9. My “theft” occured many years ago…I was so excited when my big red tulips and yellow daffodils came up in the side yard after waiting for the Wisconsin winter to finally be over! Imagine my surprise the next day when they were gone! It turns out that the “thief” was a little kindergartener who wanted to bring his momma some beautiful flowers. The mom was most apologetic and the little boy learned to “look, not touch”. Hopefully he is still giving his momma flowers! To lessen the “sting” of losing your plants, just think of all the times someone has shared their plants with you…a “happy heart” grows the best plants…

  10. That Really, Really, Sucks.

    A couple weeks ago some people were working on our roof, and within 20 minutes of their arrival, a tarp was already hanging over one of my little garden plots and piles shingles were being dropped onto my plants. All of my hostas were flattened and broken, and a lot of dianthus that were just starting to bud were snapped flat. I was TICKED. It sucks when somebody trashes something you took pride in.

  11. We see it all the time. I’ve never had it done to me personally, but I’ve had projects I’m working on lose a lot of plants. Sometimes it’s just punk kids pulling them out. Other times it’s other contractors, and sometimes it’s gardeners.

  12. I’m sorry for your loss. I live so far off the beaten path that to steal from my garden would be very difficult for a person. Squirrels and deer are another story. They routinely uproot and move plants and bulbs to areas that they prefer over my choice of location. Sometimes they go so far as to just dig it up from the location I’ve planted it in, to leave it sitting next to the whole. It’s as if they started to move it but forget. I can’t quite imagine taking plants from a gardener when more often than not they are happy to divide and share. To me there is no explanation for stealing another gardeners plants. Just try to remember that karma will get them in the end and as a gardener that could be a very, very, very bad thing to generate indeed!

  13. Next door’s gardener kindly weeded our ‘It’s green, it’s nasty, take it away’ planting around the letterbox. Leaving us with a gift of ‘clean and tidy’ bare earth. But the survivors around the corner are creeping back!

    Had an Ornithogallum bulb planted on the pavement at the old house. Common name – Pregnant Onion. Someone stole mama, so I collected the few abandoned babies. Who came with us, and are flourishing and making grand-children.

  14. Wow, Gayla. Just. wow. Sorry to hear you lost such a beautiful plant. Maybe your awesome writing and great taste in plants has resulted in you attracting souvenir hunters? Jerkfaces… Davin’s sign is a fantastic example of having the perfect come-back at the right time.

  15. Maybe a sign like: “Some plants sprayed with poison-ivy solution. Please do not touch” might deter some?

  16. I’ve had potted flowers stolen off my porch and steps. Even though they were just cheap pansies in plain clay pots, it really pissed me off.

  17. So sorry to read this. It really does make me feel sad and disheartened. And very, very angry. Love the sign.

    No gardener deserves this but especially not you!

    Yes, you are resilient. Creative and generous, too.

  18. argghh!!! this is so frustrating….our school campus just had a “beautification” which meant that a private landscaper came in and tore out all the plants that the kids and i had planted in the fall and spring. they tore out the spring plants, the wildflowers, the rare perennials, the seedlings of summer plants just getting started, the bluebonnets, etc. and left only the bedding plants we threw in for normal’s sake….dusty miller and snapdragons. i mean, what they did was nice, but i cried a little bit when i first saw it. but the kids? they said, “well miss, we’ll help you fix it!”….why is it that we try, try again?

  19. Mine was an emerald cedar, the last in a line that I am trying to grow into a hedge… it was the closest one to the sidewalk and someone just swiped it. I have yet to find another tree that will thrive in that spot. :-(

    I also had a poppy cut – just neatly snipped off as I ran inside to get the camera so I could take its picture.

    My sign was friendlier: “We love our flowers. Please do not pick them.” Next time, I’m using your sign for sure!!!

  20. I can’t say that I’ve ever had any plants stolen, but I have seen it’s effects. Usually from the gardens at condos or city property. Having anything taken from you is a terrible feeling. It feels like such a violation of trust. Sure we likely don’t know who the person is but we want to be trusting people. Our homes become our sancuary, our castle. When someone manages to scale the walls and escape with our personal treasurers it feels like an attack on our very soul.

    Have you walked around the neighborhood to see if anyone else has a new holly on thier yard?

  21. Damn, that sucks!! Some people just don’t seem to get that wrecking someone’s garden is a horribly nasty thing to do.

  22. That is low!
    I understand how you feel…. once while working at a wholesale nursery I contacted the local school district in setting up a donation program… our nursery was willing to give the schools our recycled soil, seedlings and pots. The response was overwhelming and all was going well with the donations until I got a call from a school principal,seems one of the parents, who had volunteered to pick up the soil in his truck, filled the truck to the brim and proceeded in taking the soil to his own home garden, by the way he did it twice. That school never got their soil. WOW I was in shock upon hearing that and had to re-think this whole donation program. One bad apple as they say …ruined it for everyone.

  23. I say there is a special place in hell for people that do things like this. At our Church we had newly planted arborvitae stolen three times. And these were not small plants, someone had to carry away a fairly large root ball.Ended up driving LOOOONG stakes into the root balls and ground so they would be harder to steal.

  24. Last year some thoughtful person stole all my beans plants! For real! Insane in my mind … can bean plants even BE transplanted in July? I have no idea … I think they were actually after my bamboo poles but sadly took all the precious precious beans with them.

    I then thought well I’ll put some spinach down to salvage some sort of veggie growing activity … but they stole the chicken wire that I put down to stop the animals from munching on the seeds and in the process stomped on EVERYTHING in the garden patch. Goodbye marigolds, sorrel, strawberries etc. (well the sorrel survived)

    This year I’m growing beets in hopes that the f$%#$er doesn’t like them or know what they are. They just got their first true leaves so fingers crossed. Or maybe I should just get the stinging nettle going …

  25. Tammigail: That blows my mind. That’s beyond stealing… it’s literally “shopping” in someone else’s garden.

  26. When I moved into the house I’m in now I was excited to have some new flower beds at the front of the house. I quickly planted them with some big Ranunculus in different colours, along with some misc annuals. Two days later they were all gone. Someone had just taken them all! I imagine someone tried to “pick” a flower, but the whole plant came up since it had just been planted, then they decided to just “pick” them all. I’ve never planted anything in that flower bed again, and I’ve let it become overgrown with weeds and whatever else volunteers in there. I’m considering planting some stuff in there this year.. but I’m still undecided.

  27. somebody stole my montmorency cherry tree a couple years ago from the boulevard. pulled it out by the roots!! i actually drove around the neighborhood looking for it, thinking it might just have been a random act, and it was laying helplessly in a gutter somewhere.

    yeah. people are evil.

  28. Why on earth would someone steal a plant? I know people pick flowers, but steal the whole thing? Especially plants that people eat. I’m so confused.

    In AZ we have cacti, aloe, agave, etc that grow “babies”. People will take a baby from public landscaping because the landscapers remove the babies anyway. I guess it is technically stealing though… now I feel guilty!

  29. Oh Gayla, like others I am utterly ticked at this abhorrent behaviour. I just don’t get how people can be such disrespectful a-holes, for want of a better term. Honestly.
    We had this happen in Canning recently, in the planter at the monument in the middle of town. Someone dug up the daylilies from the planter, and took the soil AND the mulch too.
    I can only hope plant-karma overtakes such thieves, and that the plants die in the thieves gardens. In the case of the sea holly, though you just planted it, you know how much they don’t like to be moved, so it should croak.
    I don’t know what the answer is, other than education, NeighbourHood Watch, and so on.

  30. I have to join the masses in shock and revulsion that someone heartlessly dug a plant out of your garden. They couldn’t take a picture then buy their own?! I can’t wrap my head around it. Luckily, I haven’t had any garden theft. But as my new and cute little street-side container garden expands ( aw) I’m keeping an eye out for it and I’m worried that some of my “toys” and “ornaments” could go missing at any time.

  31. Ciao Gayla-

    I have to say, though, I admire your perserverence with the street garden. I can give you as many perennial divisions as you’d like. It’s no sweat really because I always have too much and if someone does trample them, they will come back. A lot of the plants I give away are extremely hardy and some are even “invasive”, although I do warn people about that tendency.

    I personally have a love-hate relationship with know, plumbers, roofers, contractors, meter-readers, even postal workers. They trample stuff, make a huge mess, leave things everywhere, and are generally clueless about the “footprints” they leave behind. While I appreciate the “service” they provide, it’s the disregard for property that I do not and I admit that my normal placid nature has turned into Sicilian wrath on a few occasions when I’ve caught them in the act of being stoopit.

  32. I totally understand what you mean Gayla and share in your frustraition!

    “They” even steal from the Children’s Garden in High Park. We have signs everywhere that essencially tell them they’re stealing from Children . . . It’s so sad!

    Have you thought about prickly pears? ;)

  33. It wasn’t so much stolen, but: about six years ago I bought 2 peony starts because they’re my favorite flower. The person at the garden store said they’d never grow in our area (why were they selling them, then?). Nevertheless, with no green thumb at all, I planted them in containers on my balcony. Every year they bloomed and filled me with pride I’ve never felt before. Then I moved last year. At the usual time, I put my babies out on the porch for the summer. Next morning, dirt and broken pots over everything. I cried so hard. Why do people do that? It’s not even like they’re going to replant them, just destroy them–and I hadn’t lived there long enough for anyone to hate me personally yet, either.
    I could feel my blood boil again reading your post!

  34. I feel your pain. Several years ago I had an extensive container garden on my front porch. One morning I walked out and stopped short. Every one of my plants were gone! They took the veggies, the houseplants, and even my catnip! I was so upset…it really hurt to lose them…especially some of the houseplants that I had owned for years and years.
    A few days later one of my neighbors told me that someone was selling potted plants door to door (and she recognized them as mine)!

    People are crazy.

    I love your sign!

  35. I just found your website and I am so sorry about your plant! But I am kind of crazy about your sign! I have potted Gerbera Daisies marching up the steps of our high-water bungalow and many have been stolen – I always wonder what someone says when they get home with MY plant – ‘hi honey look what I brought you’? The real bummer was last summer when someone threw one of the pots at our house! What were they thinking?! But I keep replacing them – I figure most of the neighborhood enjoys just looking at my plants…

  36. I’m shocked that this didn’t happen in Montreal (where people get angry when you try to beautify the city, because it reminds them of their rich parents and private school and quit trying to oppress me with all your rules, man!).

    Sometimes, people suck. On occasion I’ll look longingly at my neighbor’s amazing tomato plants, but to take one? Or a whole plant? What jerks.

  37. You can Google this story which was on the evening news. Plants were being stolen from a cemetery for 3 years. The police put a tracing device in one of the plants, it was stolen. The thief had given the stolen plant as a present. One the other hand, if someone were to ask me for a plant, I would probably give them a pot of soil and a few seeds/cuttings and talk their ear off for half an hour on how to grow it. And give them my email address in case they had any problems!!!

  38. While living in an urban neighborhood in Denver, we had bought a few potted tomato plants to put on our porch. One day I noticed a few small tomatoes starting to grow-the next day the potted tomatoes were gone-pots and all. There were always a few homeless people around so I assumed maybe someone would have some fresh tomatoes and forgot about it. Sometime at the end of summer the pots minus the tomato plants turned up on our porch! I couldn’t believe it!

  39. I planted a beautiful Rosemary plant in the communal herb plot in my community garden and it was stollen. I was bewildered as to what kind of a person would steal a $3 plant.

  40. Now there’s a thought. Stinging nettle. Plant it throughout the space. That’ll give ‘em something to consider!

  41. I love the sign and intend to use it. I have been trying to figure out what to say. Last week four plants were stolen off of my decorated driveway/second patio. I get comments from the neighbors for the cool seasonal decorations I do. I cried. Why would anyone steal my beautiful signature chicken planter and the hanging baskets that came with my flower cart. Damn them. And I live almost across the street from the police station. Your sign will be up this weekend. Thanks for saying it like I couldn’t.

  42. Here in the UK we have what are known as allotments, very similar to what I think you call community gardens but the allotments are run by the local council usually in the town or city where you live and you can rent a space for about £35 a year. I had a plot for a while up until recently, we have moved out into the countryside. We had a beautiful dwarf pear tree on our plot and before we built a sturdy fence to keep rabbits and other things out that like to nibble your plants the tree was stripped bare of all its fruit not one pear was left for us. Not long after our weed supressing fabric was stolen and all the house bricks holding it down, which also implies a gardener. Why would you steal house bricks??? . Other people on the site had their vegetables stolen, sheds broken into and tools stolen. You can guarantee that things like this were stolen to be sold by idiots at car boot sales. (Car boot sales here seem to consist of strange people taking their cars and stuff they don’t want and selling their tat to make a few quid) I also put up a sign and vented my spleen, I also hoped all the pears had wasps in them so that when they bit into them they stung the hell out of them. As for the fabric, that cost a lot of money…I never saw it again.

  43. This certainly sucks! I have had a few hanging planters stolen outside an apartment I used to live in. It got to the point where I chained and locked them to eye-hooks. I always wondered what the street value was of those plants. What are people thinking? Love the sign though. Not full of expletives like I would have written but it gets the message across. Well, except the people who steal plants probably would punch kittens.

  44. I too have been a repeat victim of plant thievery and destruction. I live in the city and my husband built a beautiful flower box around the lamp post in the front of our house. Someone on our street thinks it’s a fun little game to pull the plants out and throw them in the street. It’s my second season of going through this, but I’m still plugging away, haven’t given up yet. I’ve made a few neighborhood friends while I’m out planting, cleaning or watering and I like to think that eventually whoever is doing it will grow up and realize what an a-hole they are. : )

  45. Aww, I’m sorry this happened to you. I don’t understand people who will dig up plants to steal.

    If you need something to fill in the space, feel free to contact me. I’ve got a bed full of perrenials just begging to be divided.

  46. that is terrible! i have a friend who lost some hostas from the front yard due to theft a few years ago. so absurd!

  47. Jennah: I think the addition of “You Suck” makes it far less passive and more aggressive.

    decemberbaby: You are very kind. Thankfully for every stealing jerk, there are lots of gardeners more than happy to share.

  48. Okay – not my garden, but my church did extensive landscaping through our parking lot (the islands). Come Sunday am, the congregation shows up and finds that someone came through and stole all the bushes – just pulled them up. Talk about bad karma!

  49. I had something similar happen to me last weekend. While I was away camping over May 2-4 weekend, someone came into a private shared space off the side of my apartment building (an area that I had been working to revitalize) and dumped out all of my plants and smashed the pots. Thankfully they didn’t break the large ones, only the small ones. I felt devastated.

    I posted a letter to my neighbors about the incident and the next day someone came down and put a bunch of fully grown large plants out there. It is more lush and green than ever! Also, many people didn’t know that I had revitalized the area until I posted the letter – now it has become a hangout and gathering place for people in the building.

    So we now have better space than we did before – I just hope it never happens again!

  50. We had someone steal ALL our potted plants off our back patio last month. And my garden stakes. Who would steal those? right out of the soil? I mean, they’re a nickle at the store!
    But I’m most upset about the strawberry pot. We had started those strawberries from seeds, and it had been very difficult since the neighbor cats love to eat defenseless sprouts.
    The thing that hurts the most is WHO would do this? It is my back yard – it was either a neighbor, or someone who was doing this on purpose, wandering through people’s yards and taking stuff. I’m getting a fence.

  51. I LOVE your sign! For the first time, I had several plants stolen from me about a year ago. It is very low and sad that a person would do such a thing. I’m so sorry about your plant. Let’s all remember Karma.

  52. Wow, that’s low. I’ve heard of people taking landscaping from empty homes for sale but this… wow, just wow! I guess I’ve been fortunate to not experience a plant theft or hadn’t noticed. Maybe I ought to start doing a headcount, just in case.

  53. a friend of mine in Vancouver had a tree stolen from her yard in April. I gather it was in a pot and they found it in a neighbors yard down the street. The lady refused to give it back.
    I’m sorry someone took your plant, so rude! I haven’t had anything happen like that myself but we are rural..

  54. I found a £45 blue spruce in a pot that had been taken from someone’s garden and dumped in my neighbours drive. He said it wasn’t his, so it was obviously youths messing about. Thing is, when I asked at the pub if anyone had any plants missing and what should I do, they all looked at me like I was soft in the head and laughed and told me to keep it. What if someone stole their dog, or their car? They wouldn’t laugh then. People are so ignorant. Anyway, I’m fostering the tree and its still in its pot and its doing OK. I know some of my neighbours and if any of them mention they have had a tree stolen I’ll see if its theirs and re-unite tree with owner.

  55. I know the pain. Just last year, somebody came along a stole a potted plumeria right out of my front walkway! It weighed close to 20 lbs and it was about to bloom.

  56. Wow, surprising stories. Everyone needs a fence and web cam for their gardens now. We can all start a web cam neighborhood watch program. This is ridiculous when a person cannot even garden without getting vandalized and stolen from.

  57. I feel your pain, esp, today, just discovered a potted orange tree underplanted with caladium missing from outside our front door, Heavy, big pot, most recent of several plant thefts over the years

    selfish, thoughtless scum with no conscience–will I know him if I see him?

  58. So Sorry about your losing your plant to a thief. The same thing happened to me a few years ago. I had planted my parents flower bed for them as they are elderly (early 80′s) at the time. My mom wanted lots of red flowers with a little gold mixed in among the red. During the nite, someone dug up all her red flowers. I was so mad at these people, because these flowers brought my parents alot of joy. And also because my parents were on a fixed income. My mom just said maybe these people needed the flowers more than she did. I was too mad to feel like that – at the time.

  59. I had a GORGEOUS, matched-to-my candy-colored house hanging flowering basket stolen right off my front porch.This fumed me!
    I actually walked around my neighborhood and peeked into backyards to see if I could find it.
    what if the person who stole it does not know how to care for it?
    heartbroken in Boulder

  60. casey, regarding the lady that would not give the plant back, i have taken to taking pictures of my potted plants/hanging baskets with my house/yard in the background…then if any dissapear it can be reported to police and if found you have the proof they are yours…..i am sorry to all that have lost or have had their plants destroyed or taken…love to all you precious gardeners and have a wonderful summer

  61. My dad has some wonderful neighbors, who planted cement all around their house but love to invite themselves to his garden.

    Banana plants (we live in the tropics) that leans close to their fence will mysterious lose their crops and once we had a huge pumkin growing on the fence.

    Then one day I asked my dad where it was and he said that neighbors generous gave him half after it had “fallen”.

    How they manage to get that massive pumpkin, growing on our side, over the fence after it had fallen is beyond me.

  62. To add a positive story…

    The exact opposite has happened to us. We have several plants in our garden that have ‘appeared’ overnight. One of which was in a spot where everything that we have planted has died; the magic plant is thriving.

    My wife and I have slowly been transforming a weed infested patch of overgrown grass into a street side garden and have received heartfelt thanks from many a passerby. I guess one or two of them want to help out.

  63. It is very sad and pathetic to think that people can just take the liberty of stealing something that you carefully purchased and planted down on your hands and knees. I have lots of potted plants and I live in Kitsilano, Vancouver. Someone could just walk up on my porch and take whatever they wanted. I hadn’t considered this, until I read these various comments. When I was reading these comments, I was curious to know where each of these people lived? But then I realized that geography isn’t really a factor, these thieves will go anywhere and steal from anyone.

  64. Years ago, the mean old lady across the street had her yard man dig up two trees I had planted in front of my house, and replant them in her back yard.

    The yard man needed the job and couldn’t refuse her, but he confidentially confessed to me.

    The next time mean lady fussed at me about some triviality and said she was “going to call the police,” I told her I had been talking to the cops about my stolen trees. “They think they know who did it,” I said. Total lie, but she quieted down for several weeks.

  65. Oh this sucks! I used to volunteer at the botanical garden here in Vancouver, and plants were always getting stolen. The gardeners would plant the expensive/rare plants in sort of out-of-the-way spots, hidden by others, because otherwise they would just walk away. I heard that someone once stole an entire cherry tree! They say it’s mostly dishonest landscapers who do that. Bastards.

    On a positive note, it’s strawberry time at my local community plot, and all spring I’ve been eyeing the strawberry plants thinking “that gardener probably isn’t going to see a single berry- the neighbourhood kids will sneak all of them”. But, lo and behold, they are ripening nicely and still there! A victory for humanity.

  66. Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me. It reminds me of stories each Christmas I would read about some one in the city waking up to find their beautiful pine or fir tree missing, you know the perfect-size-for-your-livingroom-Christmas-tree.

    These people have no consciences, and are probably sociopaths of one kind or another. They’ll lie right to your face or steal what you have right from under you and call it theirs. Infuriating but true. They make life suck somewhat for the rest of us normies with a conscience.

  67. Well, I can’t give up an opportunity to finally vent online about this.

    I had four fully mature artichoke plants ripped out of my streetfront bed in the middle of the night. The trail of dirt ended in the middle of the street( get away car ?)

    The artichoke flowers that we let go purple for the beneficials really gave us and passers by much enjoyment and pleasure. Not a day went by that we didn’t have someone start up a curbside conversation about those magnificent plants. The artichokes that we ate were killer too.

    It was a low and selfish act and it sucked. I still haven’t been able to plant anything there.

    Okay, waaa, I’m done. I’ll download the sign and go pick up a sic pack.

  68. Ach, I feel for ya! Had many a plant lifted from various porches and patios over the years. First was more than 30 years ago – a lovely large philodendron hanging basket that had survived a long move and had attained a regal size. I’ve learned not to put anything outdoors that I care about losing to lite-fingered folk. The sign you posted was cool! Wished I thought of it.

    I had a vicious b*tch of a duplex neighbor that pulled down several of my large flowering baskets, dropping them onto my lovely planters, smashing every pot and damaging the lot of them beyond recovery. She had a black thumb, was envious and knew just how to get back at me! Pottering over them each night after 12+ hour workdays was my daily delight. *sigh*

  69. And it’s not just plants they steal!
    Several years ago Hub and I took a canal boat trip in England. Stopping along the way at whim, we found a small shop that sold beautiful rustic, handmade pots. They were oh so very heavy (so naturally I wanted to buy one and bring it back to New York on a plane) And although Hub thought I a lunatic -as he so often does – he graciously agreed. We placed it on our porch steps, at the time we lived inner-city. One day I noticed the plant wilting and realized some *#&@!*@%$#!($^%&!! had taken my pot and left the plant to wilt and die. That was several years ago and as I am reminded of it now I still feel sad.
    PS: And don’t let me get started about my little brass frog. It now lives in someone else’s sticky fingered garden. No need to say more, but I feel it surfacing! *!&^#%$*!!

  70. This year is my first year ata community garden. The experience has been fantastic do far. I am so proud of my little 10×10 plot. My tomatoes, basil, peppers and various salad mix have flourished. The only down side has been the stealing of my herb plants. The first was 2 basil plants. The next was my little Rue plant and just recently my Lime Thyme plant. This has now sent me over the edge. I hope the Herb Thief gets an upset stomach at some point and if they so much as touch a tomatoe I may lose it!!

  71. Well, we just got back from vacation and discovered our beautiful Asiatic plant and ruby red yarrow plants gone. Dug up and taken. Really disappointed—why do people do these things!!!
    We are a little bit out the way so whoever took them had to make an effort to come up here when we were gone.

  72. My yard has been stolen from many times, this morning another daylily was taken and the big hole left was discovered by me. I’m REALLY sick of it. I work so hard on making my neighborhood beautiful only to have a psycho steal from me. AND they steal the most unusual and usually expensive daylilies I have. Very discouraging. If they had asked, I would have give them some.
    Thanks for the sign, I’m going to Staples and have it laminated!!

  73. Yesterday around midday while I was at work some guys took a few potted plants off my front porch. The police were not surprised, which worries me. The sign is a great idea! I hope they don’t feel lucky & push their luck further to head around the house & in the backyard, shed, and then the house.

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