Purloined Plant Prevention

On a beautiful side street that faces Delaware Park here in Buffalo, we spotted this doorway/fence/arch/ combo (oh, and lights too) that had planters sitting on the stone wall ledge – in cages built into its “pillars”– to obviously prevent purloined pots. Seemed like a brilliant way to keep plants out by the sidewalk in planters. Might have been less expensive to just build pots INTO the stone wall.

I’ve heard from many gardeners over the years about stolen plants – everything from hanging baskets that disappear over night to prized trees, like a Japanese maple being stolen shortly after planting. I wouldn’t say its rampant, but it happens.

I’ve had iris picked out of my front yard, and had solar lights stolen out of the front yard (back when they were new on the scene and expensive), but never had actual plants stolen. I’m cognoscente of it though. My front yard baskets are wired securely to the brackets. They can still be stolen, but it would make it difficult to get them off the brackets.

My alternative would be to plant poison ivy in my front yard baskets. They still might get stolen, but it would give me a certain measure of satisfaction.

Ever have something stolen from your garden?

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

0 comments on “Purloined Plant Prevention

  1. Anonymous

    Since you asked, I had a Japanese Lilac (newly planted, stolen, then miraculously returned bare-rooted to my driveway the next day) and two hanging baskets that were out front. The hanging baskets were plants I grew from seed all winter and they ultimately became someone's Mother's Day gift. I was especially peeved because I followed the dropped petals all the way to a car (one that was obviously there) where they disappeared. Same with the lilac tree. Dirt to a waiting car. Why it was returned was I posted a sign stating they were caught on video surveillance and would be apprehended. It was a lie, but good enough to get my tree back. I knew they would return, because there was another lilac that they left. I agree, cheaper to built the planter in stone pillars than putting the plants in jail.


  2. By chance, my latest post is about the destruction of a pampas grass flower. I have never had a plant stolen from my present garden – but many have been destroyed by thoughtless vandalism . . . children breaking off twigs, picking flowers and chucking them aside – that kind of thing. I don't want anything stolen – but if it were, I suppose I would hope it had gone to a home that would care for it rather than scatter its parts on the pavement.


  3. That entry behemoth is both sad and hilarious, not to mention ugly.I, like Esther, have been the target of a little vandalism (nothing major thank goodness), but never outright theft. I have a friend who has had countless newly purchased (not yet planted) plants stolen off her very private front porch. She started placing them around the side of the house to discourage the thief but it continued.


  4. GW/GT/Donna,The old “caught-on-video-surveillance” ruse. Well played, well played. Sorry about the baskets — I have a feeling my stolen iris were a gift for someone at the hospital at the end of our street. At least that makes me feel slightly better about it.Esther,I read your post — that's sad! It's a grass — there's always next year…danger garden,Garden thieves are the worst aren't they? Who would steal from a gardener? I'm on the fence (pun intended) about the behemoth gateway's design. It seems overbuilt, over designed and so substantial (like a prison entrance) for a gate doorway that has no sides. Does it really deter people if they can just slip over the half-wall fence on either side? It would make more sense as an arbor, with no gate/door. And the roof over it seems excessive as well. But I like the idea of it and the craftsmanship — it's well built!


  5. I like it every aspect of it including the cover which btw would keep a visitor dry or shaded until the gatekeeper answered. I do agree through that it needs a fence. Perhaps lack of funds or maybe something more tragic befell the craftsman. A cease & desist order from a disgruntled spouse ?As to theft other than Iris blooms from passing children not so much but then again I am that crazy Irish Puerto Rican who has been know to shake her 5 legged hoe @ the sky. Theft by sqirrel is a another matter.I suppose cement shepard hooks in place and my solar garden lights counts as a security measure.


  6. Polenaka,The cover seems a bit out of scale to me. I almost expected to see heat lamps inside it! Don't get me started o squirrels. The thugs.


  7. It is a good idea. My mom has lost plants, chairs and a wheelchair ramp from her front porch in Charleston, WV. I live out here in the middle of the Woods. My husband's chainsaw was taken 35 years ago, our car about 15 years ago (while we were home and awake in our bedroom listening to the wind that turned out to be our car going through the yard) but plants are pretty safe if you don't count the dear and rabbits.nellie


  8. I must say I am a bit relieved this happens all over the world. I just learned yesterday that a window box of flowers I planted for my friend's cafe got stolen. I was hesitant (embarrassed) whether to blog about it, revealing that such things happen here. Of course, cafe windows seem probably much more as “everyone's possession” than people's gardens. Greetings from an ex-communist country, where “everything used to belong to everybody”…


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