Thieving Varmints

So, for the first time in a few years, I decided to grow an old favourite. We had a huge patch of them in the garden at the farm, as they were also one of Dad’s favourites. Every year he walked away with a handful of ribbons at the local horticultural show for them, too. It got to the point where he won Best Flower in Show often enough that they just let him keep the trophy and created a new award, named after him.

My glads have been blooming for the past couple of weeks, and we’ve been enjoying them in vases in the house, as well as in the garden. I left the most unusual and striking ones in the garden, for our own enjoyment, as well as anyone who wanders by the back yard. I should have just cut them and brought them inside, I guess.

The back gate was open the other morning when Richard went to work. My first thought was that somebody had raided the vegetable garden, but nope, everything was as it should be there. Nothing was amiss with the flowers, either. I guess that Richard must have unknowingly scared off the thief when he switched on the kitchen light that morning. But obviously he didn’t scare him or her enough as they came back. Today I was out, pottering about, as one does, and something about my largest flower bed didn’t seem right. I didn’t twig right away, but as I wandered closer to it, I realized what was missing. My precious glads! Closer inspection showed that my favourite tall, deep velvety plum snapdragons had also been snipped off. I’ve been looking for that variety for years and was thrilled to bits to finally find them this year. Obviously somebody else thought that they were rather lovely, too. Even closer inspection revealed that the somebody has large, heavy feet, which nicely trampled my petunias and portulaca. The bed is about four or five feet from front to back, and the glads and snapdragons are right at the back of it, with the tall perennials. So you have to step into the bed to reach them. There are small gaps deliberately left to give me somewhere to step, but obviously a thief doesn’t care about such things. The petunias might recover, but the portulaca is squashed to death in spots. Oh, and my pretty little yellow marigolds right at the front of the bed took a bit of a beating, too. SNARL!!!

Where do people get off these days? I mean, really. We’ve never had any trouble like this in fourteen years, apart from some kids doing a vegetable raid one night during our first summer at this house. Which pissed me off, too, but it turned out that they didn’t know that there were new people living here. Apparently they had a few bones to pick with the grumpy former occupants. Which still didn’t make their actions right, but we got an apology and we left it at that. I mean, if somebody really wanted a flower so badly, just ask, and odds are that I’d happily cut one for them. Earlier in the summer I caught a woman helping herself to my roses in the front yard. A woman about my age, with kids in tow. I challenged her and she just laughed in my face and kept on cutting roses, until she finally felt that she had enough. Talk about nerve. Gah! I mean, our entire yard is fenced, so they have to actually open the gate and trespass in order to help themselves.

It’s not just us being singled out this year, though. It’s going on all over the city, in both private yards and city parks. For whatever reason, probably otherwise law abiding adults think that it’s suddenly okay to just help themselves to whatever plants or flowers they see and fancy. At least I just had flowers cut – others have had entire plants and even shrubs or small trees dug up.

I’ve never been a dog lover, at least not to the point where I want to own one, but I might reconsider. Meanwhile I picked every tomato that was even close to being ripe this evening, just in case, and removed any other obvious temptation that I could think of. Mutter mutter.

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