Jim McKenney jamesamckenney@verizon.net
Thu, 16 Jan 2014 08:28:32 PST
Diane's comments about plant theft reminded me of an outrageous incidence of that here in my area. I might have told about this in a post years ago. Here's what happened: a friend collects and propagates  Japanese maples. A public building in his neighborhood was being refurbished and redesigned to enhance its use by the community. He donated one of his better maple specimens for the "landscaping". Very shortly after it had been installed, it disappeared. 
The assumption is that a free-lance "landscaper" snatched it for a job. Evidently this goes on all the time. 
Now that I have community garden plots, I hear stories all the time about the people who visit such sites and help themselves to the vegetables and flowers. One such person is well known in Washington, D.C., and the Washington Post has run articles about him more than once. 
I love it when little kids pick flowers from the lawn and beds in front of the house. When I see adults doing it, it makes me want to turn the dog out. (Our fierce dog would just prance out and solicit petting). 
Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where the thieves which give me the most trouble now are the bunny kind: they have nibbled Asphodelus acaulis down to near stumps. 

On , Jim McKenney <jamesamckenney@verizon.net> wrote:

On Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:20 AM, Dennis Kramb <dkramb@badbear.com> wrote:
The typical life expectancy of a plant in my care ranges from 5 weeks to 5
years.  Therefore do not entrust me with any rarities.  I can even kill
Wal-Mart Hippeastrums.  It's why I've gravitated towards locally native
flora... grown
 exclusively outdoors.  They have the best chance of survival.

That being said, I do have a remarkable collection of oddball plants
including rare & endangered species like Iliamna remota, Boltonia
decurrens, and Silphium brachiatum.  They're all from neighboring states,
though, so it's not too remarkable that they survive here.

The oldest plants in my care are some windowsill cacti about 20 years old.
Next are a handful of bearded irises about 15 years old.  But out of all
the plants I've ever tried growing, my kill:///success/ ratio is strongly
skewed towards the killed column.

Regarding the security of rare plants in big institutions I'm dismayed when
they don't have security cameras.  In this age cameras are cheap. 
your investments!

DK in Cincinnati

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