Plant Poaching

happycthulhu(7)January 23, 2006

Now, I'm not talking about going into someones yard and digging at midnight.

Have you ever taken a cutting from a garden on your nightly walk?

Ever slipped one into your pocket from the floor of Home Depot?

Would you consider it theft to dig a plant from a deserated ouse?

I've clipped a cutting or two from neighbors, and have had the plant lady at Home Depot hand me clippings and tell me to put them in my pocket(one of my best plants came home this way).

There is a neighborhood that is being taken over by the local airport to expand the run ways, and I plan on getting plants from the yards of the deserated houses, they'll just be bulldozed anyway.

Am I in the wrong?

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beachbarbie(z9a/8b NC)

I've gotten several plants from houses about to be bulldozed. One rose bush, I got out of the ground as the bulldozer went to work on the front porch..... It's a great way to get plants for free and you have a plant with a history.
You do need to be careful when taking plants from houses this way, (in NC it's a crime if you don't have the owners permission) so make sure you get permission from the owner.
That being said, I have collected seeds from public places before.
I've gotten 2 roses, easter lilies, asparagus fern, daffodils, paperwhites, daylilies etc.
I'm also a member of our local freecycle and have received some wonderful plants that way.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 4:05PM
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Great post! I've also pocketed leftover clippings from the floor at local stores and wondered... :-(
My boyfriend says I'm stealing so I stopped doing it. I'm one of those people with such over active honesty I'm tortured all day if I just dream about stealing something..

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 4:07PM
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Amazon....I wouldn't look at it as stealing, but rather creative replanting. (just replanting at my house LOL)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 4:18PM
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Oh geeze... check this out

Here is a link that might be useful: Similar Thread

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 4:35PM
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putzer(z4 WI)

I think the key is to ask. Having said that, I have taken a seed pod or few from a public planting that very obviously needed to be deadheaded....uh, at least that is what I told myself. I do remember years ago, my aunt told us that it was considered stealing if you picked up leaves, etc. from the store-her son (who is a sergeant) was with her when she did it once. He let her off with a warning lol

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 10:10PM
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cyndi_co(z5 CO)

It is stealing but of a relatively venial sort.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 2:22PM
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Just curious... what do you all do for a living? How much stealing from your business would you think was ok/venial sin?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 3:06AM
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kms4me has a point:

Everything belongs to somebody.

The difference between a gardener snapping off a few seed pods from a plant other than their own & commercial plant sellers who dig up their merchandise from parks/public forests/wilderness areas, or who walk off with the decorative urns you have accenting your sidewalk, lies in degree, not kind.

If someone gives you seeds, clippings, or starts, or if you ask & the owner gives you permission or goes with you to get clippings, etc, that's nice & generous & helpful.
(& gardening etiquette is that you offer the giver something in return, a plant, cutting, or something from your garden).

If you snap off a piece or gather seeds without getting permission, that's stealing, &, depending on the details, it may be vandalism as well.

I can see rescuing plants from a demolition site, but I'd ask *someone* all the same:
bulldozer operator, guy in a hardhat, somebody.

It just isn't that hard to ask.

If you're reluctant to ask because you think the person would say no....
that kind of says it all, doesn't it?


ps: Plant material that's been thrown out for the trash truck is different.
It's the one instance that I can think of where picking up a plant without asking is all right, in the same category as picking up bagged autumn leaves that have been set out for the trash.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 2:20PM
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RuthieG__TX(z8 TX)

I once watched a nun yes as in catholic..habit wearing num...pinching leaves in the plant section of the grocery store...made me think twice about it from then on...If I felt she was wrong in doing it...what did that make me? never did any pinching again.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2006 at 6:18PM
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Kms4me-please contact me. I need your address!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 8:06PM
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May I ask why you want my address?


    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 2:29AM
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If it is private residence, it is better to ask  even if the place appears to be abandoned. I am always collecting seeds, but if it is a private residence I ask. The response is most often friendly, and the owners usually end up collecting more seeds for me.
It is not a good feeling to have plants stolen from you. I have caught my neighbor stealing from me twice, and other neighbors have seen her seeing her doing it. She recently took some plants it took me 3 years to find. My mailman delivers things to the wrong address at times, and since she has moved in, some of my seed trades by good traders have not arrived. She is now opening a nursery and seems to be stealing more. I am having to put a ton of heavy, heavy work into my place just to keep plants safe from her. I am chaining my valuable plants, putting up a plant monitoring security system, and building a series of barriers just because of her theft problem.
I believe in propagation and am not morally condemning you. It is usually easier to swallow if you are asked first or if you just take the seed.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 9:27AM
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Why not cross your fingers and tell this leach of a neighbor that your attorney advised you needed to give her a verbal warning prior to any legal action. She is to give you back the such and such plants or the suit would have to include the time spent finding the plant, cost of the plants, and the loss of enjoyment of them.
May not work and she'll tell you to take a flying leap. Did you report it to the police with a description? Seems like the neighbors could get together and file a complaint.
I personally think it better to contact someone of authority for permission prior to taking plants even if they will be bulldozed.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 10:59PM
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Most of the time if you just ask people, they are more than happy to let you have seeds, cuttings, etc.

As far as the demo sites, usually there will be a sign or some such with the demo companies name on it, if not, in your case I would call the airport and ask them who is doing it. Give them a call, and tell them what you would like to do.

We ended up with 2 palm trees, a lot of bamboo, and tons of perenial plants from a 4 houses that were being demo-ed for a new construction project. Also got a pile of lumber, and other asst things to help rebuild our house.

The only thing they may want you to do is sign a waiver that they arent responsible in case you hurt yourself while digging.

Poaching in the public domain........hmmmmmmthats kind of a dilema. Most landscapes where you may want to poach will have a sign for the landscape contractor that maintains the site ( Malls, Dr's offices, etc) next time you pass, grab the phone # and call them. Ask if its ok to dead head seeds etc.
We took that a step further to asking when they do maintanance so we could stop by and get cuttings. The contractor was happy to tell us schedules. Saved his guys from having to take more junk back to the compost pile. Its also a good source at times for black plastic nursery pots.

Happy Green Frugality!!


1 Like    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 8:41AM
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paradisi(Sunshine Coast)

I'm always snatching seed pods and bits of plant that hang over fences.....

as for plants in abandoned homes - ask first, even if it's just the squatters.

I got a rare lemon and months of free lemon juice by "harvesting" a lemon on a building site. Sadly the ancient old citrus has been replaced by a large box that looks like a public toilet block and someone now calls home, on a handkerchief sized piece of land.

I managed to get cuttings and seeds of this rare lemon to quite a few collectors around the world.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 10:36PM
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being on the fire dept has alot of perks but one of the best ones is 'harvesting' plants from houses being used for fire training. for example, the state highway bought out a whole neighborhood for a new exit ramp. the highway dept let the fire dept torch the houses for fire rescue training. before they are torched, i visit the sites and save what plants i want.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 8:28AM
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Nancy zone 6

Oh, man, I need to look into joining the fire dept! Never thought of that perk!
When the state was demolishing houses across the road from me to build a new road, I really wanted to go over & dig daffs & other plants I knew would be demolished, but never knew who to ask. I have never taken cuttings from nurseries inside, but I have picked up cuttings in their parking lot that have broken off purchased plants. I figured that those plants were paid for by someone, & they pbviously didn't want what broke off, so were fair game.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 5:16PM
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ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

I was at Home Depot one afternoon last summer drooling over some lovely $10 3-gallon perennials on some temporary shelves in the parking lot. A store worker was loading some of them onto an oversized cart. I asked where they were being relocated to so I could continue to browse. To my horror, he responded that management had told him to throw a bunch of them away. The plants were all very healthy, even for plants at a hardware store. I said that if they were going to be thrown away, I'd cart them off, but he said he had orders to throw them into the trash inside the perimeter. The worker seemed pretty upset about it, and hinted that he might help me cart them off, but I didn't want him or me getting in trouble over some plants. I grabbed a couple that he was going to cart off and bought them, but I didn't have the funds to start a plant rescue. A frustrating, incredible, painful waste. Just one of the 3-gallon rudbeckias I bought yielded about 20 divisions.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 12:11AM
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kandm(8b coastal alabama)

It is simply perverse to throw away good plants, esp when someone it there who wants them. This country wastes so much.

1 Like    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 8:51PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Remember that in public parks and gardens the seeds too belong to somebody. You may not think that a few seeds make any difference but it is quite possible that they are being watched carefully buy the people in charge. Here's an example from a garden in the UK: "Seed heads of valuable plants are put in bags to catch the seeds. A Royal Himalayan Poppy - Papaver regalis - was taken in its entirety. It's a fairly rare plant and has to be imported under licence, whoever took it knew what they were taking.We try now to move rarer plants just a bit away from the boundary. It's a bit of a devil really, and very upsetting when it happens."

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed theft

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 12:28PM
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Speaking of throwing away plants I remember back when I worked at a K-mart and they threw out all the seeds after the season passed. That made me sad.

I know kids like to collect pine cones and acorns (from school ground, a park or the walk home) Do you guys think children are wrong to do this and their parents should tell them that it is bad. I personally don't think it is bad, after all the plants went to a lot of trouble to make seeds worth noticing and moving to new locations by animals (humans included). I do feel that no one should be taking any cuttings without asking.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 12:09AM
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I was visiting the Alamo a few years ago with my mother. Behind the building is a wonderful garden with many Texas Native plants. We were talking about the plants and really enjoying walking in the cool shade, when just out of habit I reached down to deadhead one of the spent blooms. It was like a bomb went off, the security guard grabbed my hand before I could close my fingers on the flower, loudly repremanded me for the attempted theft of 'historic property' and ordered me to leave the grounds immediately or I would be arrested and jailed. My elderly mother was horrified and nearly fell down, I was so surprised and mortified I was speechless, and the other 150 or so visitors in the garden stopped in their tracks to see who was stealing Dan'l Boones Coonskin Cap!

So, let that be a lesson to everyone here, if you visit the Alamo, you better not touch ANYTHING there, not a leaf, not a twig, not a stone. I didn't even intend to keep the spent bloom for the seeds, and we all know how hard it is to walk past one, don't we? But I can't think about deadheading without remembering that moment when I was caught in the act of that heinous crime. My mom still doesn't think it's funny and it was 7 years ago. Cheryl

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 11:59AM
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kandm(8b coastal alabama)

The philosopher Immanuel Kant believed that something is only good if it would still be good/right if the act was done universally. By that logic, taking clippings and seeds from public places would be wrong because that plant would die if everyone took a piece. Personally I don't believe this applies to stealing plant parts because I don't see them as property in the same way as a car is property.

When I hear about companies patenting seeds and plants it really annoys me. I think we have a duty to spread seeds and plants as much as we can so the world has a lot of variety. It's not like I'm running around stealing rose bushes or cutting off branches to root lol.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 1:08PM
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i would not like someone to walk past my garden and take a clipping. perhaps i should walk past their house and take a shingle.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:12PM
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OMG!!! My friend sold her house and unfortunately, she passed away a few months later. Her daughter let her friend go to take plants from the property. They were going to tear it down and build a new house. Well, the dorky friend went there with a BACKHOE and dug up everything she could.

The guy called the police and said he was owed 10 grand for all the plants. So, went back with the backhoe and she replanted them.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 8:46AM
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Now that take some really BIG... NERVE. I cannot believe someone would take a backhoe.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 4:12PM
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Yep, big nerve, small brain. hee!

Oh and BTW, Hooper, I got extra shingles in the garage, just ask.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 10:07PM
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katsch(Z7 OH)

A guy I use to work with had a friend who sold his land for a medical center- well after the place was "gutted"- DH and I , along with my 17 year old son went and dug up 3 blue spruces- took the brick off the fireplace and dug up 2 mugo pines!
The bricks now outline my flower beds- the blue spruces house 2 dove nests and the mugos are huge! ( I never expected all to live) but figured they would be bulldozed and what did I have to lose besides sweat?
I didnt steal I took the opportunity and ran with it!!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 9:38PM
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Last summer a nearby city was widening a street, & I asked the backhoe operator what they were going to do with a row of irises.

"Lady those irises'll be gone this afternoon, take all you want".

went home, brought my garden fork...
couldn't dislodge those irises from the rock-hard clay.

The backhoe operator got down & took the garden fork & went at the clay with manly strength...
& broke my garden fork.

He dug out every iris with his backhoe!

They're the most gorgeous candlelight-colored historic irises with canary yellow hafts.

Always ask first, but never hesitate to ask.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 12:54PM
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    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 1:13PM
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thats some dang strong IRis's that they can grow in that stuff! Do they like your nice garden soil or are ya gonna have to make up a cement bed? hee!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 5:38PM
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I put them in semi-decent soil (which is all any iris needs!), some in full sun, some in bright shade...
& they all bloomed this year!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 7:15AM
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That's great, Sylvia! You know I never hestitate to ask - ever - for a seed pod or cutting. The folks at the Dallas Arboretum used to be very generous with bits of sedums and seed pods - we live 1/2 mile away and were there every day. Now that it's gotten so much bigger, forget it. They did let me have some really cool pumpkins and several hay bales they were going to toss after Halloween last year. The pumpkins rotted in the backyard and are growing all over the place now.

Some of you may know that I have had a deal with Lowes in my area for nearly a year now. When they have lots of clearance racks, the nursery manager calls me with a price for it all, and I haul it all back to my house. It's a lot of work for me, but they make it worth my while with a great price as long as I haul it all away, including dead stuff.

2 weeks ago I stopped in and was going through about 20 racks of clearance trying to figure out how much I'd be able to take in just a few kid-free hours. I was informed that a vice president had come through, didn't like that the clearance was being sold cheap and hauled off, and now they are no longer allowed to sell at a pre-tax package price to me or anyone else. Clearance is back to straight 50% off, and after a week, it goes to the locked dumpster. It's a disgusting waste. In the past year, I have donated more plants to our 4-H club's community service projects, schools, plant lovers in my neighborhood who could not otherwise afford to build a pretty new flowerbed, etc. I've got plenty at this point, and it was a blessing while it lasted - but the waste... I can hardly stand to think about it. This time of year there are at least 20 racks of plants going in the dumpster every week.

By the way, all that plastic is also going in the dumpster. When I was hauling it off, the plastic was reused or recycled.

Let's all call Lowes HQ and complain lol.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 9:22AM
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That is one of the reasons I hate the "BIG BOX STORES", but what are you going to do? They are EVERYWHERE. I used to have the same type of deal with a clerk at a nearby Target. He always let me have the clearance plants dirt cheap. Now I grow most of what I want from seed or swap for it. I only buy the really big things like trees.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 9:44AM
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I'm doing the same thing now. I stop by Lowes to check out clearance once a week - they do get some really nice plants at this particular store. If I bring something home, it's a nice one that's easily propogated so I can spread them out/share/swap.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 2:16PM
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i agree, ask, i went to taco tico, they have them pretty plants, and if they are going to clip them back, they just throw them away, so i asked if i could have some clippings, boy did i score!! LOL i really do always ask, i believ in the fact of what comes around goes around, and i know it'd tick me off if someone stole from me!! even a clipping or seeds, just ask and heck, you'll recieve lots!! i don't have a problem sharing!! :'))

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 8:22PM
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This is a matter of ethics pure and simple; the solution is easy. If it was my business, my property, my fence, my plant, my trash; would I look twice at somebody else taking a part of it away? If I owned that 'abandoned' property and just couldn't care for it as often as I want, or if I'd promised the bulbs from the front yard to an employee, I hadn't been able to give a raise to for the last 2 years, would I be offended if they disappeared?

If so, you need to ask, PERIOD. What you might receive in return is a phone call the next time they have a lot of plants in a yard they don't think should just be turned under. You might have a construction company call you 6 months later and see if you want to demo an old 'worthless' greenhouse.

On the other hand, I don't see any problem with picking ripe blackberries from overgrown and unmaintained growth beside a road, picking fruit from trees that haven't been pruned in 20 years and giving them a clean-up in the process. Grabbing some seed from the local patch of cattails and planting 50% of them to continue the crop for next year.

Cuttings from an employee: I seriously don't think that was their's to give away, even if it was trash. But once it's in the trash... or if the company had a 'policy' about selling/giving away sub-standard products that might not be an issue. If one of my employees was breaking/trimming a plant to give it away I'd be ticked, but if they cleaned up the culls and set them out as freebies (with my knowledge), I'd be happy with their initiative, as they provided a free but bonus perk for ALL of my customers, make up a sign and keep that box full of potential, but compost the rest as it degrades.

Your mileage may vary, just as all our ethics will.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 3:01AM
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Problem is that the managers don't see it as a possible plus for the planet and their sales. All they see is they are losing a sale by giving things away. The person that takes that free plant won't buy one that is the same but in better shape in management's mind. They don't think that if someone knows they might be able to pick up a few "trash" pots making it worth the stop and they just might buy a few things each time they are in. If I don't have a reason to stop somewhere, my time and fuel are too precious to take the "off" chance they might have something good. However, if I know that the stop might be beneficial to me in some way, I will stop and maybe I will buy that honeysuckle I have been dying to put in where the sweet peas were. I think the throwing away the pot that cost them "nothing", costs those greedy managers a lot more than they realize.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:45PM
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marie99(z8 SC)

Don't do anything you would not like to see on the front page of your local paper. So many people walk around with a cell phone camera these days.

Now here's how I got a major source of free plants. I stopped and asked the people tearing down a house where their office was. Then I went over there and asked about garden plants from houses to be torn down in the future and was given some addresses. All I had to do was dig them up on the day before the house was destroyed. Foundation plants will be destroyed when they run over them. Also, if your city has planted in the traffic dividers ask the employees when you see them changing plants if you can have the old ones.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 10:18AM
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I may have told this here before, please forgive me if so:

A *very* frugal friend told me that she stopped at an estate sale in a "McMansion" area & overheard a couple talking about the new house they were going to put on the site when they knocked down the old house & bulldozed the lot.

Tina asked them what they were going to do with the garden plants, & they shrugged & said the garden was a goner & she was welcome to any/all/whatever.

She didn't have a shovel with her, but there was one at the estate sale.

The price was $6, & she didn't need another shovel...
so she rented it for $2!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 5:56PM
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toadlilly(z7/8 ETX)

After much teasing from hubby, I now ask. It embarresses him to death:) I pick up pieces and at the check out I ask the little ck out girl if I can have them. They always say yes, I also ask the home owners if possible, met a lot of neat people, and no one has told me no-yet

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 7:07PM
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also here in ks or in our area on the area between the road and the ditch i believe, a neighbor who is on the council, said that, its legal to dig anything you find on that property, its not the "owners" persay. if they're in the country, i'm like cool!! cuz ya can find some cool stuff!! just don't leave like a hole!! i'm big about that, and never cross that ditch line!! and if someone is near i would for surely ask!! LOL just to be polite!! :'))

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 10:44PM
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We had neighbors pull up our newly planted pines (and plant them right where we could see them later), and deny that they did it. We had been gone for 10 minutes to get water, as they watched us plant.

We also have people come on our place and pick raspberries that are near the road, but the last guy started tromping through the bushes and made a real mess. They were parked in full view of our house. I guess the 'no trespassing' sign wasn't meant for them. >:(

Then one lady asked me if she could have a cutting from my one white lilac. I told her that I was going up to my parents over the weekend, and could get her one there, since that was where I got my white lilac in the first place (and my parents are always pulling out lilacs that pop up). So I told her to come back monday. I had a few ones for her, and she NEVER SHOWED UP! Figures. People around here are so messed up.

I don't take stuff, except once I did take some daylilly pods from some landscaping in front of a restaurant. That's really all I did.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:07PM
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kandm(8b coastal alabama)

I have a guy who brings his son into my yard to look at my bird feeders and garden decorations. Freaked me out the first time, I had the window open and I hear voices right next to the huge azalea bush. I don't mind but it was weird.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 12:09PM
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I'd check on that side-of-the-ditch information.

Here, the city or county or state owns only the street itself, & the rest belongs to the homeowner.

Even inside a city, the strip between sidewalk & street is often an easement where the city has the right to tramp across it, but the homeowner owns it & is responsible for maintaining it.

If the city or county mows & maintains it...maybe.
but I'd still check.

I once had a builder put his "home for sale" sign on the parking lot in front of my *real estate office*!

I laid it down & called him to come get it, & he went ballistic, saying that the parking lot belonged to the city & I couldn't tell him not to put his sign there.

Actually, the city didn't even "own" the street in front of the office;
it was on a road easement that belonged to me!

Words were exchanged, & I had to get the police to discuss the matter with him.

I'd hate to put myself in the same position by picking plants off property before I ascertained for myself who the owner was.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 5:50PM
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I steal plants, cutting and seeds. I do think it's totally wrong, but I only take the smallest of many plants. Like succulents (very easy to propogate) I just break a piece off and walk away. Others (like marigolds) I find dead flowers and break them off to collect the seeds. Sometimes I take whole plants but are the smallest of a group of them.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 11:38PM
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Several years ago, I was visiting an elderly lady & admiring her house plants. I told her that our meager collection never seemed to do very well. She said her grandmother always told her that houseplants grown from stolen cuttings always grew better than the cuttings you asked for. She got up & got a pair of scissors & a plastic bag and laid them on the table. Then she said, I'll be in the kitchen for awhile, making us some tea. We never talked about the plants again.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 1:17PM
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I dead headed flowers in planters on a city street years ago while waiting for ???? whatever. A city worker came by & told me "thank you". That was surprise! He must have appreciated the improved look AND the help :-)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 12:37PM
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I dead headed flowers in planters on a city street years ago while waiting for ???? whatever. A city worker came by & told me "thank you". That was surprise! He must have appreciated the improved look AND the help :-)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 12:38PM
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There have been a couple of times where I have been admiring and/or inspecting a plant in store & a piece will snap off. If it seemed a healthy enough piece, I'd stuff in my purse & go on about my business. Once at my local nursery, my sister in law where checking out the fruit trees. The peaches already had ripened fruit on them. Several had already fallen off & were scattered all over the ground. A worker told us we could have whatever was on the ground, since "it was no longer attached to the tree, so how can we sell it?" I've never taken any seed or clipping or whole plant from anyone without their permission. Except for what's on my parents' property. They don't take care of the plants, even though they will buy more. I also do it out of spite for killing some of my plants while I was away & left SPECIFIC intrucstions. I live out in the sticks. Plus my house is not by the road. If anyone wanted to steal something from my yard, they'd have to come right up to the house. Nothing I have outside can be propagated from cuttings. Everything would have to be dug up. I'm also home 99% of the time. In my book, digging around someone's yard without permission is vandalism. Besides, you have to be genuinely stupid to go sneaking around someone's yard, especially where I live.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 4:15PM
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While this won't be a popular opinion, I'll state it anyway:
The argument of big box stores "throwing away good plants" is always quite nonsensical to me. They've bought the plants at wholesale prices to sell at retail prices and quite honestly, they're the stores plants to do with as they please be that sell them, throw them away, or stomp them to pieces in the parking lot if they choose. The idea that a person should be able to have them for free "just because" doesn't make sense from a profit/loss point of view.
There is also the issue of snipping/pinching off parts of plants in garden centers. As noted by other posters in this string, why would that be ok when you'd be angry if some passerby just decided to come into your yard (and the garden center IS the store's "yard") and pinch off pieces of your plants to take home and start their own? Oh noooooooo, that's a completely different situation say you... NOT!
It's one thing to ask first but the employee that you ask doesn't own the stock you're pinching so in effect, they don't care one way or the other if you're doing something against management's rules or even something unethical.

Being frugal is a good trait but stealing is stealing regardless of the reason that you assign to it in your own mind.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:10AM
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A person who might run you off for trespassing also might happily welcome you if you ask. It is super important were folks may already be working, especially with heavy equipment. No sense at all creating a safety risk for yourself or complicating the operators job. Good community relationships are likely to have the best yields in the long run!.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 4:33PM
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If someone stopped to admire and ask permission, I would give generously. If someone cut pieces from my plants at my home without asking, I'd press charges.

One of the reasons that everything, not just plants, is so expensive is theft. From hands on stealing to identity theft, many people take what is not theirs and make stuff more expensive for all of us.

Just ask.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 4:52PM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

Do any of you give back? I have dug up plants from abandoned houses, broken off seed heads. I don't take anything from stores. Now I take care of public park beds and many of the seeds/plants I collected from around town. They're just propogated and shared. The city likes my work and it saves them money. They water it and give me mulch so I'm happy. I encourage kids to collect seeds from the flowers that bloom in the park. They need to learn basic parts of plants and be introduced to nature outside of a computer picture.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:18PM
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any hints and tips on cold calling? I have seen a most beautiful hydrangea in the next town, in a private garden. Do i just stroll up the path and knock on the door? I think i would be less shy if it was a beautiful garden, but the rest of the place looks like they are not big horticulturalists. What if they they think im casing the joint?!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 12:06PM
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'I encourage kids to collect seeds from the flowers that bloom in the park. They need to learn basic parts of plants and be introduced to nature outside of a computer picture.'.

What you're teaching your children is how to steal.

You can rationalize it as long as you get away with it, but if I found someone in a public park 'teaching' her children in this way, I'd call the cops.

If you want your children to learn the parts of plants, grow some plants from seeds that you obtain lawfully, & if you want to 'introduce' them to nature, teach them to respect it, not to vandalize it.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:36PM
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Great idea - call the cops. They have nothing better to do than arrest children for doing something the plant is already trying to do, which is to spread its seeds. That kind of self-righteousness does more harm than good.

1 Like    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:51PM
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Great idea - call the cops. They have nothing better to do than arrest children for doing something the plant is already trying to do, which is to spread its seeds. That kind of self-righteousness does more harm than good.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:10PM
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doubt that they'd arrest the children, but park police are there to protect the park from damage, vandallism, theft...

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 2:00AM
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I don't think collected SEEDS in a public park or even a store's parking lot is stealing. They are ugly and any nursery/landscaper worth its salt would deadhead. Taking cuttings is another issue, though. Taking those things from a private home is creepy.

BUTTT, I have taken cuttings and seeds from property way out in the country where the houses burned down YEARSSSS ago and no other homes were nearby. Those turned out great. Good thing I did that, too - a logging company came to one of those areas and tore everything down, even the VERY old apple tree...lots of nice shrubs gone in half an hour.

I thought about offering to cut back the shrubs of those homes for sale that looked so unkempt. (and keep the cuttings, of course). But, I think I would've had to cut even the ugly shrubs, so didn't ask. I should've just asked.

I have given away many plants. I often try to root many more cuttings than I need in case something happens to some. SO, the extras I give away. From now on, though, I will keep them to trade.

I had a trading system going on with my family members for a while and we were all very happy with the results.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2015 at 7:37PM
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