I sincerely believe that gardeners are generous folk. We love to share big, beefsteak tomatoes with our co-workers, succulent cuttings with our neighbors, and dried herbs with our friends. Need gardening tips or help? Please ask! We’d love to lend a hand or provide you with experienced insight! We have a wealth of intellectual and material resources and our well-being grows every time we share it.
But please, oh please, do not take from our private gardens without permission! Yes, it may seem like there is plenty to go around. But unthinking scavengers may not understand that certain resources may be specifically earmarked for other people or other endeavors. Even worse, ripping, tearing, or pulling on delicate plants can be very harmful or lethal!
|Deliberate cuts were made on the right and left side of the plant.|
On Thursday morning, I pulled out of my driveway and as I drove past my front yard, I noticed that my plumeria closest to the street was missing two large branches! I pulled over to the side of the road and inspected the damage. This was not a simple break of small fingerling limbs I have experienced in the past. Some ne had very deliberately sawed off two large branches that would have yielded approximately a dozen cuttings!* I was furious, just flat out spitting mad! I glowered in my office with my door shut until mid-morning, hoping that no poor, hapless co-worker had the misfortune to walk through my door.
|Someone thoughtlessly broke this branch by hand.|
After I got over my anger, I felt hurt. I have been very generous offering cuttings to my neighbors. I handed out cuttings to visitors when I participated in the Clairemont Garden Tour in 2010. When I trim my plumeria, I leave a bucket of cuttings in the driveway for passers-by to take. I love giving thank-you plumeria cuttings to my co-workers in appreciation for all the ways they support me and our company. These thieves took branches I had earmarked as “thank you cuttings.” They stole, not understanding that those cuttings were meant for someone else. Plumeria cuttings are a hot commodity and can earn between five dollars and thirty dollars (and up!) per cutting depending on the kind and quality. If I make a conservative estimate that my twelve cuttings were worth ten dollars apiece, the thieves stole $120.00 worth of product from me.
|More damage to green wood|
I sadly feel a whole lot less generous than I did previously about sharing my plumeria cuttings. I even contemplated installing a vinyl privacy fence. Barriers may deter the thoughtless pilferer, but they will not stop a determined thief. I don’t want to be one of those crotchety neighbors constantly screaming, “Get off my lawn!” But I would like some privacy and respect for my property, especially when I have been so generous in the past. If you would like a cutting or a piece of fruit, please knock on my door and ask. Chances are, I’ll say yes. If I don’t, then you need to respect my answer and understand that I have my reasons for refusing.
|We are very tempting, especially in our gorgeous, late fall bloom, but please leave us alone!|
*Plumeria plants are propagated by removing a small portion of green wood called a cutting. Cuttings can then be planted, and with proper care, will grow into another plumeria plant.