Hydrangea thief! How to stop?

andee_gwMarch 13, 2013

My pride and joy is huge and blue. It's planted down the driveway, about 20 feet from the cul de sac. I noticed this winter that "someone" had cut out a clump of the dried blooms, destroying the symmetry of the shrub. The cutting was closest to the street, and so shielded from my view from the house. Anyone who would do this is likely to want to get more when it blooms this summer.

What can I do to prevent this? Thread wire throughout before it leafs out? Surround it by a fence (I would not want it very visible)? I'm also thinking of buying a surveillance camera that hunters use -- but what if I identify a neighbor? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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dgregory_so.cntrl.IL_zone6a

Humm, that's a tough one. I understand how you might feel a little assaulted and insulted by the act.

I'm sure the "offender" simply admired the hydrangea and, since the growing season was over, just thought they'd take a dried flower from the "spent" bush... or a child took a bloom home to "Mommy"...

I'm not justifying the theft by any means, I think they just didn't know better and weren't thinking they were damaging your plant.

Maybe this spring, as the neighbors and their children begin emerging from their homes and you hear complements on your lovely hydrangea bush, you could casually mention the incident and how it seemed like more of a assault on your property. Tactfully bring it up and let everyone know that it made you feel sad that the shape of your hydrangea was damaged and it affects the blooms. Also that you take pride iin your hydrangea's appearance in every season, regardless of the season. Mention these things without accusing anyone or inferring what the consequences might be.

I'm sure it was just a thoughtless incident and when word gets around the cul de sac that you don't appreciate the pruning assistance, it will stop.

hth,
Deb

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:07AM
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bfly8

Security camera is a fine idea. Once you catch the criminal, you can either go to the police department, if you want to go that route, or you can show the video to the person who you just busted, with a requested explanation. It helps to have some idea in mind as to how they can make amends to you. Whether that be a simple apology, or replacing what they damaged, if it is that bad. I can assure you it wont happen again, once they see the video.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 10:23PM
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gardengal48

You could try the motion activated sprinklers they use for deer deterrants :-) A few shots of wet spray from out of nowhere tends to be a bit unnerving!. How you rig it up so that it only wets down an actual thief and not just a casual passerby is the tricky part.........

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 5:06PM
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andee_gw

Thanks to all for your replies. My neighbors are very nice, and I really would like to think it was someone who walks in from another street. I think I'm going to try for a deterrent -- lights, action (water?), maybe not the camera. And lots of wire strung through the branches before they leaf out. If anyone thinks of anything else, I'd love to hear it.
Andee

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:30AM
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