What’s a gardener to do?
You plan to grow a hedge to border your corner block on a busy road. So you spend months preparing, breaking down the hard clay soil with manure, gypsum and water, getting the pH levels right, just perfect for your camellia seedlings to thrive.
You plant your little babies and watch them take root and begin to prosper after surviving the natural elements such as extreme heat and heavy rain. They survive drunks stumbling past our house, the mad ranting fellows who like to dislodge our letterbox, and the local brats riding their bikes through our garden. You think your little plants are going to be all right.
And then one morning you wake to find 20 missing, stolen while you slept. They leave a slightly sickly looking one lying on the ground suggesting to this bitter gardener that this was no spur of the moment theft. This was planned. The poor little guys are unlikely to survive being uprooted the way they were. I suspect who ever has taken them will be disappointed to find them die over the next few weeks. So all their efforts under the cover of darkness will prove fruitless in the end. Let’s hope they don’t come back for the remaining ones in our garden to replace any casualties, as they won’t fare any better.
So if you see some young camellias in your travels that soon die in someone’s front garden, they just may be those unfortunate victims of the great 2011 camellia robbery. Or maybe not.
There is nothing one can really do about it of course. You can report it to the police. Which we did. But all that gets you is a number. You could sit outside your house for the next 2 years in a rocking chair armed with a shotgun, watching and waiting. But I don’t have a rocking chair, a shot gun or any patience come to think of it. You could rant about it I suppose. That just might make things a little better.
So I ask the keen gardeners of Canberra, am I alone in being the victim of garden theft? Anyone else had anything stolen from their front yard?