Hmmm. Sadly, someone has decided that, once again, plants planted in public places are available for the taking. I’ve been informed the a few Arisaema, among other perennials have disappeared after they began to bloom. Having gardened myself for many years in the public sphere, it is aggrevating, and disturbing, how some people decide they can take plants, because, after all, they pay taxes. I’ve actually had people tell this to me when they were confronted. Others, I imagine see it simply as an opportunity to get ‘free’ plants. The worst times have been when I’ve had plants pulled up that I find elsewhere, broken, dried and dead. Once, I had a Fejoa sellowiana, now Acca, dragged across the lawn at Waterfront Park, they left a dirt trail, to where they tossed it into the Willamette over the seawall! Several years back, I came back the next day to finish a planting and all of the Spiarea I had planted the day before was gone, more than 20 plants, so probably by a landscape company, and this was from a utility planting to shield a parking area. Many public gardens, maybe most, around the world, are protected by fencing and locked gates after hours. This adds more costs upfront and can often make regular maintenance more difficult for access reasons. One alternative is to plant ‘unattractive’ plants that no one will want…, but what’s the point of that. We can’t ‘nail’ every plant down, so in Parks we would just go back and do it again. Don’t get me started on the just stupid vandalism of broken trees….
Wow. Just discovered your blog, and it’s quite a coincidence because 1) I’m pretty sure yours is a garden I often used to walk by when I worked at the Fred Meyer main office, and 2) I’ve never forgotten the time I saw a sign in the side yard with a message telling off (and rightfully so) the person who’d stolen a plant from it. (This was several years ago, and I believe it was an agave?) I was appalled, of course, and it creeped me out to think of how vulnerable the plants in the “public” parts of our yards really are.
Assuming I’m correct and it was your garden, did you ever find out who did it?
Jennifer, yes we are on the Fred Meyer walking route and, you remember correctly, someone tore out one of my Agaves and no, we never found out where it went. Unfortunately,there are those people out there who feel entitled to steal plants and as I wrote, they must think why not? that the rest of us are schmucks. I still say screw ’em. To react conservatively and choose to stop trying to make where we live beautiful is wrong. There will always be those who feed off of the efforts of the rest of us. In my greater moments I feel sorry for them and their sad lives.