Does anyone have ANY ideas on how to prevent flower theft?
I have a very small garden in the front of my apartment that is bordered by the house and a sidewalk with a lot of foot traffic. There is a tree in this garden that blocks much of the sun but also some of the visibility of the garden from my apartment windows. Every year, the hydrangea which blooms has its blooms ripped off one by one by someone walking by. I am not sure if it is a neighbor or a random thing, but it is the only hydrangea in this garden and the other gardens on the street do not seem to have their hydrangea blooms stolen. I have also had other flowers nipped off of their stems and just a few minutes ago as I was photographing a hellebore bloom, a man walked by and encouraged me to “just go ahead and pick it”. I angrily informed him that I would not, that I had planted these flowers and that when people do come by and steal the flowers it wastes the money and time that I have spent on them and ruins it for everyone else who wants to see the flowers. There will always be some flower loss with a sidewalk garden, but if any one has ANY ideas, please share.
When I gardened in New York City I occasionally had problems with people digging up plants and taking them but never with people picking flowers. Not sure what you can do about the hydrangea, but you could design future plantings with mostly flowers that are small and not welcoming to pick such as Phlox subulata or plants that make their impact with form and greenery rather than flowers. Obviously it will limit your choices, but it could be a fun challenge that might lead you to plants you wouldn’t have thought of before.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.