When the dog and I go walking in the mornings, I often take snapshots of interesting things we see on our walk. Lately, as we’re heading into summer, I’ve been photographing any beautiful plants which I see in the gardens in our neighbourhood. I try not to trespass, but if there’s a flowerbed close to the road, I’ll step onto the sidewalk, and take a quick photo.
I’ve been wondering if anybody ever sees me doing this, and wonders what I’m up to. Am I a crazy bug person, chasing after a butterfly? The local “garden inspector” (there are municipal employees checking to see that, given severe water restrictions in place, nobody waters their gardens “illegally”). Am I an estate agent surreptitiously taking photos of properties I want to sell? (Here the estate agents are so desperate for houses to sell, that we’re frequently approached by them. I am never sure if they have considered that we would then need a house ourselves. Or maybe they have, and are hoping for a double sale?!). Or am I a plant thief casing out the possibilities?
We hadn’t been living here for that long, when we noticed that plants were missing from our garden, leaving very obvious open patches in our flowerbeds. It was like an alien abduction. One day they were there, then the next time we looked, Poof! . . . they weren’t. Magic. We continued to puzzle over this, until one day a neighbour clued us in.
In our area there was (is?) a little old lady, who was treating the neighbourhood gardens like her own personal plant nursery. On her daily walk she would check out the local gardens – much like I’m doing now. Then if she saw a plant she liked, she would have somebody come and “collect” it for her, and replant it in her garden.
It didn’t take long for our neighbours (one of whom is a police detective) to figure out that she was getting inside help. And it didn’t take long for them to narrow down their suspect list to one person: our gardener. Who coincidentally was also the gardener for several other people in our neighbourhood.
We never did find out who the thief was. Our gardener denied any knowledge of the “garden crimes”, and nobody ever caught him at it. So I guess it could have been anyone – even the old lady!
[This is one of those times I really wish I could draw well, so that I could illustrate this post.]