Cleveland Park Flower Thief Makes the New York Times

Photo by JoshBassett|PHOTOGRAPHY

Those who follow the Cleveland Park Listserv are well acquainted the “flower thief”. Now our neighbors up north are as well – from the New York Times:

It starts each April with the violation of lilacs. Peonies are the next to fall, then Asiatic lilies. Then, in a painful botanic denouement, hydrangeas meet their demise, yanked at times straight from the roots…

The police seem somewhat befuddled. Possibly bored…

Some residents fear that with every flower destroyed, part of the history of the city and its neighbors goes, too…

21 Comment

  • This is EXACTLY the sort of reporting that makes my NYT subscription worthwhile. Thank you, esteemed journalists, for never failing to provide the hard-hitting news.

    • Seriously. I saw this during my morning click through the website and was so, so, so disappointed.

      • um, so y’all think the only articles that should be on the nytimes are “serious” ones about syria or our miserable gov’t? absolutely nothing should be cultural or human interest? either of you newspaper editors?

        • actually, the sound like paying customers. why does making fun of one article mean that they only want “serious” articles and don’t want cultural or human interest stories?

        • Please elucidate the “cultural or human interest” element of this story. So Mary-Anne is unhappy someone snipped her flowers and she suspects an older homeless man as the culprit – I see. That surely broadened my understanding of the American pastoral. This sort of article is something that I would expect from the local section of the Post – not from the national paper of record.

  • It’s not just Cleveland Park. I had a whole Azalea bush dug up out of my front yard in Columbia Heights this week.

    • Was it recently planted or were they attacking a well-established plant with a shovel? I planted a new azalea three weeks ago (near the corner of 13th & Park). Someone tried to yank it out over the weekend. I can’t imagine it was so well rooted that they couldn’t pop it out, but they gave up nonetheless.

      And for what it’s worth, this type of stuff is infuriating bullshit for those of us that enjoy beautifying our yards with plants. I have had a number of things walk off from my yard over the years. I don’t keep investing in my yard because I’m stupid or deluded; I do it because I’m unwilling to cede this issues to the thieves. My yard, and my neighborhood by extension, are more beautiful thanks to my efforts (and the efforts of all my neighbors that enjoy gardening). The constant thievery, however, is a very disappointing cost of doing business.

      • I planted it a couple of years ago – so maybe the roots weren’t so deep. I’m thinking about replacing with something that might be less attractive to thieves. Azaleas, peonies, lilies and hydrangeas have all been mentioned as thief attractors, particularly around Mother’s Day. Any thoughts on a good bushy flowery plant that wouldn’t attract thieves?

  • I remember friends who lived not far from Union Station had their hostas
    dug up from their yard and stolen…they called it “The Hosta Hostage Crisis”

  • There was a lengthy discussion about recent flower theft on the Glover Park listserv as well. Perhaps the crimes are related?

  • Yeah, the only difference between Cleveland Park and other neighborhoods is that Cleveland Park residents use dramatic language to complain about it on their listserv.

  • Ah. Crime in Cleveland Park. But seriously, doesn’t the NYT know that giving the thief notoriety will only inspire copycats? With the police patrolling dog parks, they can’t protect every flower in the city.

  • Talk about a sloooooow news day.

  • It’s not the end of the world, but it really is seriously frustrating. I spend a lot of time, energy, and money on my little garden. I would like to be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

    • Totally understandable. It’s really frustrating when people don’t respect your property and the fact that you put a lot of time, money and energy into it.

  • Once we left some annuals in their plastic pots on our front porch while we went in to get gardening tools. When we came back out two of them were gone. Go figure. Never actually had anything dug up though…it’s pathetic that people do that.

  • The article was about as boring as the topic, kinda disappointing.

  • Ally

    Same thing happening regularly near Stadium Armory/Eastern Market. My pomegranates got stolen last fall, a neighbors flowers were all dug up this Spring, and some lady down the street had all of her tulips cut. What happened to nice, wholesome car jackings?!

    • That’s really frustrating, but man, if I saw pomegranates growing in your yard I’d be tempted to steal one too. 🙂

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