Here’s what I think:
You are a person who likes plants and gardens. What you took from me has no resale value, so you undoubtedly stole these plants for yourself or for someone you are close to.
You probably justified this theft by thinking something like, “She has so many plants…I’m only taking a few.” You might have even thought that I wouldn’t notice.
Sometimes people steal because they themselves feel “ripped off” by life…but I assure you, taking from me won’t heal that wound you feel. In fact, it might cause you to feel worse about where and who you are.
Here’s the damage you did with your actions:
As a garden communicator on Cape Cod I’m very generous with my time and my gardens. I open my property for the benefit of non-profits. I use what I learn in my gardens to share that information with others. You have made me think twice about how open hearted I am with what I do.
I started the Horticultural Happy Hour at Cape Cod Beer with the idea that this was a way that plant people, and those who want to learn about gardens, could come together at a local business to connect with each other and share what we know. You might have learned that I’d be away from the house for this event. I have canceled all future meetings because of your actions.
You might think that all the plants that I had staged, ready for placing in the garden, came easily to me. Do you know that I work the equivalent of three full time jobs to have what you stole? Do you think that writing books, hosting a radio program, working at a local garden center, and public speaking are effortless? From the outside looking in, it might appear that all of this comes easily to me…it does not. I work at it, labor over what I do, and feel anxious about whether it’s good enough.
In some cases you took two of a group of three plants. This means that I won’t have a cluster of these plants to photograph and share with others. The lavender and Echinacea you took were sent to me by a grower who was counting on me to post and speak about these perennials. Now I won’t be able to share good photos and information with other gardeners because you have taken my samples.
I put a great deal of time and effort into my work. And I like to think that people benefit from my determination to spread the love of plants and gardening to the general public. But you have made me question if my labors are worth the hours and struggles I put into what I do. Why should I work so hard if people like yourself are going to just rip me off?
As someone who cares about plants, I’m asking you to also care about people and rethink your actions. I’m thinking that you might be having second thoughts about the fact that you’ve taken my trust and generosity along with the pots and six-packs you stole. I’m asking you to consider that I have invested my money, time, talents, energy, and kindness in order to have the plants that you somehow felt you were entitled to.
If you’re able to step back and consider my point of view, I’m hoping that you’ll return what you stole to the top of my driveway. The new cameras we’re installing around the house won’t record what is placed there.
It might seem to you that you only took a few plants. But you really stole a grower’s hopes, and my money, time, trust, and knowledge that I might have shared with others. I am so disappointed in you.