After writing about the goodness of people I’ve met along the way I’ve encountered the bad egg. I don’t know who this person is, but they’ve made us feel violated.
One morning recently I went out to wander around the garden and noticed that something was missing. Actually, several somethings were missing. During the night, a person unknown had broken off three stems of ‘Stargazer’ lilies that were in bud, all of the stems of a nice pink mallow, some delphiniums, astilbe, tall bellflowers, liatris, and hosta leaves. To do this, they had to enter our yard, not just pluck stuff from the sidewalk. Natalie discovered a plastic box out at the corner of the garden with some of the broken-off flowers and foliage that the thief had left behind. She put a sign on it, “Monday Night Vandalism,” and left it by the sidewalk. Several neighbors asked about it, but hadn’t seen or heard anything in the night. There was enough broken off and left behind to make a nice bouquet for our dining room table.
On further inspection, I found that the thief had pulled two plants up by the roots â€” a Mexican feather grass and a little variegated yucca â€” that we’d just planted last spring.
Occasionally we’ll have someone knock on the door and ask if they can have a few flowers to give to their mother or some such thing. We’ll often oblige them. But this is the first time someone has helped themselves wholesale to our garden. I hope it’s a one-time thing because I still believe that overall people are good.
When I lived in the city I had this happen more than once in my little rock garden. I remember how heart sinking an experience it was… not so much the loss of the plants (new ones were uprooted and carted away!) but the loss of an optimistic view of my fellow humans…especially gardeners. I always perceived gardeners as especially sensitive and nurturing, but I guess we are all prone to the foibles of human desire for something we don’t have.
I sympathize with your disappointment.
Dealing with passers-by is one of the hazards of gardening on a public corner. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don’t think our vandalism is from other gardeners but rather from uncaring people who think that whatever they see is theirs for the taking. Fortunately we haven’t had any further incidents since I first wrote about it in early August. Gardeners are still some of the kindest, most sharing, optimistic people I meet. — Mark