Dear Amy: My neighbor picks flowers off of our trees/plants in the front yard.
Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
The first time we caught her doing this, she told us she uses them for prayer and asked if it was OK.
This is becoming a daily routine. We hardly have any flowers left.
Today, I came out to find a whole branch missing off my plumeria tree. When asked about it she replied, “I picked a flower, and the branch broke off.” Those branches are very sturdy, the flowers need no force when picked, which makes me believe she did it on purpose.
I’m getting fed up but feel uncomfortable saying something since she uses the flowers for prayer.
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What do you think I should do?
Keeper of Flowers
Dear Keeper: This may seem like a benign activity to the person doing it, but taking flowers from private property is theft. Your neighbor asked permission only after she was caught. You gave her permission, and now you are going to have to withdraw it.
Perhaps only an avid gardener would understand how truly disturbing this could be. (Gardening is my primary hobby, and, yes, it would bother me a great deal.)
Because you grow plumeria (a tropical plant), I infer that you live in a warm climate. You have invested in, tend, water, prune, and protect your plantings. Taking blossoms deprives you of the right to enjoy them. Breaking off a branch will wound the tree (and the gardener’s pride).
Many religions use flowers as part of prayer ceremonies, but maybe you also want to use these blooms for your own kind …
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle