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The Orchid (and Daffodil and Begonia) Thief

March 29th, 2011 · 58 comments

Maya in the U.K. spotted this magnanimous display on a garden wall on her way home, in a neighborhood “that must be simply full of hundreds of passive-aggressive middle class Brits.” Says Maya: ”I was tempted to steal the daffodils myself, but refrained.”

These daffodils are for the thief, living at the bottom of the road, who obviously loves daffodils but is too poor to buy his own - even at 2 bunches for a £1. For 2 successive weekends he has stolen some from this front garden. These he can take as a gift. Enjoy.

Meanwhile, Greg’s neighbor in Washington, D.C. decided to go with even an more straight-ahead guilt-trippy approach.

To the person responsible for stealing the begonia: Please return it; no question asked. This plant is a clipping given to me by my great aunt. She is now dead. I would we happy to root a clipping for you if you indeed wish to have such a specimen. Thank you.

Lastly, Fern spotted this scarily upbeat FYI while vacationing in Key West, Florida. (Adds Fern: “We think the flower just died.”)

Hey Orchid Thief: Hope you like your flower! Just wanted to let you know stealing is bad karma! Enjoy : )

related:  Three cities where nature-lovers might want to keep their hands to themselves

P.S. Before settling for a ho-hum Susan Orleans reference, I must admit that when writing this post, I tried — and failed — to come up with an worthy Wordworths-riffing title. In light of my lack of inspiration, I was especially delighted by this bit of brilliance from shwo! in the comments section:

I wandered slyly as a thief
Who flows on low o’er gutter spills,
When all at once I saw a leaf,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the porch, beneath the trees,
I think I will be stealing these.

FILED UNDER: D.C. · Florida · flowers, trees, houseplants & gardens · guilt trip · karma's a bitch · smiley · stealing · U.K.

58 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Karate Schools Santa Monica

    Why is it that gardeners, even when irritated, always sound the most happy? I know it’s being passive aggressive, but you have to hand the smiley faces to them. And the gifts!

    Mar 29, 2011 at 2:46 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Who? Me?

      Here, dearie … have a sack of tomatoes … I need to get rid of them, if you don’t take it I’ll just have to throw them away …

      But please don’t touch me daffodils …

      Hey, wasn’t that a show a kazillion years ago? With the sheepdog? And … wait for it … Miss Doris Day? Just googled it, I was wrong … Please Don’t Eat the Daisies!

      Thanks for letting me ramble … I’m feeling much better now. :-)

      Mar 30, 2011 at 12:12 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Canthz_B bang

      Aw rats. I was considering a Please Don’t Eat the Daisies joke, but I just did one a few notes ago…the one with the little girl running away. Her name was Daisy. :mrgreen:

      Mar 30, 2011 at 1:07 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   TickleMyBambo

      “Hey you!! Keep stealing my flowers, I dare you, cause the next time you come over to steal and I catch you. I’m going to ram a bag of seeds of so far up your ass that vines will sprout out your nose and begin to strangle you for your stupidity! Karma’s a bitch, Have a good day :)”. <—- Am I the only Gardner that posts angry PANs?

      Mar 30, 2011 at 1:23 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   Lauren--NY

      I guess so. :-)

      Apr 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #2   Jason Heckathorn

    I’m pretty sure the Karma police aren’t going to smite you for stealing a flower.

    Mar 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   RedDelicious

      Apparently you don’t understand the whole idea behind Karma. Stealing for the sake of stealing is just mean. I hope they get theirs.

      If only I could hand out the Karma. So many, many people would I make my bitch.

      Mar 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm   rating: 29  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   Mel K

      What if it wasn’t stealing, but liberating the flowers from over-zealous gardeners who kept pruning and shaping?

      How does karma work if the recipient was more deserving? The gardener could be a total control freak.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 1:17 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Mel K

      How do we know that the gardeners don’t have a lot of bad karma to work off?

      Mar 30, 2011 at 1:29 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   park rose

      I don’t think J.H. understands the whole idea behind messing with an orchid grower.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 4:39 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   The Elf

      But then you’d have the karma, Red Delicious. It’s a vicious wheel.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 7:21 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #2.6   GhostWriter bang

      Handing out karma can make you change from a RedDelicious to a Blue Meaney.

      …sorta like a Karma Chameleon.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #2.7   Cynta E.

      I wish they would. Thieves deserve the worst. I would gladly take my Karmic desserts to have others get the dish that Karma owes them. So there.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 3:23 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #3   Jimmy James

    Attention all units- be on the lookout for a suspect wanted for the crime of grand theft flora. Suspect was spotted in the vicinity of Grosvenor Square, with rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes. She is wanted for questioning, however our criminal profilers can tell without asking that she is into the blues.

    Mar 29, 2011 at 2:53 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Canthz_B bang

      Gypsy Rose isn’t as sweet as we’ve been led to believe.

      Mar 29, 2011 at 11:47 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   TickleMyBambo

      They should take a note from Adam (from The SupidBomber Manifesto) and just surround their gardens with motion sensor lights to keep thief’s at bay or at least until they receive a letter in the mail saying how having lights on all the time in their garden is just “stupid stupid stupid”

      Mar 30, 2011 at 12:36 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   park rose

      CB, but Mary’s just as contrary.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 4:41 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   GhostWriter bang

      Cops thought they had her, but they had to learn hard way to let her pass by (let her pass by).

      Mar 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #4   Deputy Garcia

    Hey Orchid Thief! I like that movie they made out of your book! Can you get me Charlie Kaufman’s autograph?

    Mar 29, 2011 at 3:00 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #5   Miss Monroe

    The first one is my favorite.

    Mar 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Managed Hosting

      If you were the thief, how would you respond to that? I would be embarrassed and laugh all at the same time!

      Mar 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #6   Daud Khan

    nice buddy

    Mar 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #7   Nahhh bang

    This thievery must be nipped in the bud!

    Mar 29, 2011 at 5:09 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Canthz_B bang

      I’m pretty sure the theft stems from jealousy rooted in insecurity, but let me leaf through my old psych textbook to be sure.

      Mar 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   park rose

      It’s all graft.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 4:43 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   anglophile

      *gets out her pistil to stop the puns by force if necessary*

      Mar 30, 2011 at 8:59 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   Canthz_B bang

      Puns are a thorny issue around here, but I didn’t sow the seeds of this thread.
      Fighting them is going to be a tough row to hoe.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 9:28 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   wright1

      I’d say to hell and begonia with the thief, but perhaps they’ll turn over a new leaf…

      Mar 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #8   shwo! bang

    I wandered slyly as a thief
    Who flows on low o’er gutter spills,
    When all at once I saw a leaf,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the porch, beneath the trees,
    I think I will be stealing these.

    Mar 29, 2011 at 5:13 pm   rating: 81  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   anglophile

      shwo!, you have just acquired a fangirl.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 9:00 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Canthz_B bang

      And a fanguy…have I said “BRILLIANT!!” here before?

      Mar 30, 2011 at 9:32 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   shwo! bang

      Aw, shucks, you guys. Here’s a flower for each of you. I got them from the garden at the top of the road.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 5:13 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #8.4   Abe Froman

      Perfect iambic tetrameter. ABAB rhyme scheme with a couplet at the end. Nice to see actual poetic devices are still being used in an age of “Imma gonna” and “for shizzle my nizzle”.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 6:07 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #9   MD bang

    Urban garden under attack? You just need to expand your theme. Just a bit.

    Add some stinging nettles, burrs, anything with thorns–both fine (easy to miss visually, but embed in the flesh hideously) and rivaling a whittled set of spears. Grace that off with anything openly declaring ‘poison’ in its popular name: poison ivy, poison oak, etc.

    Bonus points for erecting a tasteful plaque that reads:

    ‘I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.’

    Spreading this earworm is called adding insult to injury.

    And congrats! The theme of your garden–no matter what else you plant–is now PAN.

    Mar 29, 2011 at 6:08 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   The Elf

      One of the cutest things I ever saw as a child was a flasher who, after flashing the neighbor girl and then seeing the father come out of the house enraged, ran off into a holly bush.

      Holly. It’s pretty and pointy.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 7:17 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #10   Mrs.Beasley bang

    I think anybody lowdown enough to steal flora from a neighbor’s private property deserves to get an allergic rash. May St. Fiacre smite them with a black thumb to match their soul! Team Gardeners!

    Mar 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #11   Brah

    I’m for all these people. Someone came onto their property and took their flowers. That happened to me once. Somebody walked around my house to by backyard and uprooted a plant (I’ve had more than just plants stolen, too). It’s just creepy and obnoxious and I do hope karma nips these thiefs in the ass.

    Mar 29, 2011 at 9:48 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   pony girl

      I can’t even remember how many times I had people trespass on my property and steal papayas, bananas, guavas, lilikoi and mango.
      ticks me off.
      I wanted to put up nasty signs, but my (now ex) husband wouldn’t let me.

      (That’s not why he’s me ex. Really…)

      Mar 30, 2011 at 3:22 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #12   Canthz_B bang

    Stealing flowers from a private garden is reprehensible.
    Besides, you can get whole florist designed creations from the cemetery…Mothers’ Day is a good day to find really nice arrangements, and the owners never complain.

    Mar 29, 2011 at 11:57 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   Who? Me?

      I’m so embarrassed … I laughed. The quiet suppressed kind that doesn’t make any noise (I kind of swallowed it down instead, somehow).

      But that was naughty, CB. Very naughty. ;)

      Mar 30, 2011 at 12:39 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   Canthz_B bang

      Mar 30, 2011 at 12:49 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   anglophile

      I laughed out loud, and for long enough to start feeling light-headed.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 9:03 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #13   KJS

    Funny thing about karma – do bad things, bad things will happen to you. Lady, you just had some flowers stolen – what did YOU do?

    Also, who steals an entire plant? That is rather impressive.

    Mar 30, 2011 at 12:06 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #14   TickleMyBambo

    Why waste your precious beer and condom money on buying beautiful flowers for your date with a hot chick when you can easily steal some from someones garden from across the street for free!

    Mar 30, 2011 at 12:29 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Mel K

      I am so sorry, did you also date my ex? Shared commiserations.

      You can tell if the flowers came from a florist- the dirt has been washed off.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 1:24 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   TickleMyBambo

      Hahaha, I don’t believe I have. But I did have two friends whose boyfriends did that though! Your ex sounds like a flower stealing jerk, which is why he’s you ex haha :)

      Mar 30, 2011 at 1:30 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   Canthz_B bang

      There must be a niche on the black market for Baby’s Breath if date-related flower theft is widespread.
      No woman will suspect stolen flowers if you add a little Baby’s Breath and a ribbon.

      Don’t ask me how I know.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 1:34 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #14.4   TickleMyBambo

      Knowing the Black Market and constant date related flower theft.. I don’t doubt that either is making a good profit out of it.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 1:42 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #15   anglophile

    The problem with these notes is that they aren’t going to work.

    Unless the deer and rabbits around their houses are considerably more educated than mine.

    Mar 30, 2011 at 9:05 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Canthz_B bang

      I knew that someday Bambi and Thumper would form a gang to rape the ‘hood of foliage.
      Bambi’s dark side really came to the fore after his mom was gunned down.

      Gangsta Wildlife Crew sends shivers down the spines of Crips and Bloods. Many members of the Aryan Brotherhood don’t dare venture into the woods to hunt anymore.

      A sorry state of affairs indeed.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 9:39 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #16   Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    “We think the orchid just died.”

    no no no no no no.

    I know from orchids. At least, I know from some orchids. In my experience, their flowers last weeks and then very slowly dry on the stalk. I still have dried blossoms from a stalk that bloomed *years* ago. Almost every one of them I had to pick off the stalk eventually; they cling for a very long time.

    If the orchid flower simply *disappeared*, the grower is reasonably in assuming it was deliberately plucked.

    Mar 30, 2011 at 11:17 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #17   Divvitar

    Hey, and think about the poor flowers here! Being uprooted, placed in new soil…or worse…a vase! Their emotional scars will never heal!

    Mar 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #18   GhostWriter bang

    Fuck dem daffodills- I want that funky black can.

    Mar 30, 2011 at 12:54 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   it's naptime

      It was full of Medina. Which is best served cold.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #19   Therapist San Francisco

    Well, they say plants help you breath. So maybe the increased amount of oxygen is helping them remain happily passive about their indiscretions.

    Mar 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #20   office space

    I am in love with the writer of the first picture. and I hope she is a female :)

    Apr 1, 2011 at 6:16 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #21   Zoe

    She is indeed, I live about 6 doors away. She’s passionate about her garden and the guys at the end of the road are scum (for more than the daffs)

    Apr 5, 2011 at 11:20 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #22   me

    It’s probably just young kids, i used to when I was a tiny spawn.

    Apr 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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