Since spring we knew that our home of 30 years would be moved to a new location to make way for diking necessary to protect Fargo from flooding. In preparation for transitioning to a new spot, in spring we dug and potted strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish, iris, daylilies, fleeceflowers, hosta, other perennials and countless shrubs and trees that were still young enough to be dug and potted.
All summer long we watered, fertilized and nurtured these hundreds of potted plants at our “old” location, as we waited for the house to be moved to the “new” location and the new lot backfilled, graded, etc. so these pots could be planted in our yard and garden. The City of Fargo even hooked up a temporary water meter at the old location after the house was gone, so we could continue to water and care for the plants until they could be moved. Most needed to be watered daily. The yard and garden aren’t ready at the new lot. Our potted plants grew beautifully this summer – just like potted stock from a garden center, and we were so proud.
Today, Sunday Sept. 4 when we went to our old location, (which we won’t vacate until late October) to do our daily watering of pots, my heart sank. To make the daily watering task easier, in spring we had set up several hundred feet of watering hoses. Today all hoses were gone.
Besides the hoses, plants were taken, including a large potted apple tree, all our potted strawberries, and others. Someone hauled away the plants and hoses Sunday before about 2 p.m., which is the time I went to water. In fact, I believe the perpetrator was returning for more, but saw our vehicle and left. The property is clearly marked with “No Trespassing” signs and cordoned with yellow caution tape, so I don’t believe there was a misunderstanding that the plants were “up for grabs.”
Mary and our sons quickly helped me transport ten van-loads of the remaining plants away from our old home place. We were concerned that if we left, the thieves would probably return and steal the remainder.
Potting up and transporting plants that we’ve grown for the past 30 years was important to us. Being able to replant familiar old plants was one way to help us adjust to the move. It would soften, just a little, what has been a long, sometimes difficult process. We were depending on these plants for our new location, and it’s frustrating that now some were stolen.
What kind of gardener could enjoy watching an apple tree grow that they stole from another gardener? What type of gardener will enjoy picking strawberries from our plants? I wonder if it will occur to them how frustrating it is for us, now that we’ll have to start over and wait even longer for strawberries. They were nice plants that had grown all summer so we could plant them and enjoy a good crop at our new garden next year. Will the thieves enjoy their new perennial flowers? I suppose I should be happy we discovered the problem before we were totally cleaned out. Somehow that doesn’t help my mood.
What type of people steal plants? It’s hard for me to understand that someone who wants to grow plants would bring this kind of sadness to another gardener.