Thursday, 20 June 2013


A couple of years ago, I used some money I'd been given for my birthday to buy two tall zinc planters - one for either side of my front door. They were not particularly expensive but I liked them and they were less likely to smash as my terracotta ones had when reversed into by my daughter and husband parking their cars on the drive. I planted them up with two Hebes.

They looked very elegant.

They looked less elegant when the Hebes died because of my forgetfulness when it came to watering them!

I replaced the lifeless Hebes with a couple of cheap conifers. They looked a little lost to begin with but were more tolerant to lack of regular watering and soon began to flourish. This last month in particular, they put on a spurt of vibrant fresh green growth and were looking fantastic. My sense of symmetry was slightly offended by the fact that one had grown lopsided but not so offended that I would have wished them gone.

The past few days, I have spent a lot of time and energy working on my front garden to make it neat and tidy. Borders have been weeded and pruned. The driveway has been swept and scraped and weeded and swept again. Part of the weeding process has involved doing battle with deeply rooted, viscously sharp brambles. It has not been a job for the faint hearted but the rewards have been immense. A real transformation (provided you turn a blind eye to the pile of trimmed branches in front of the garage door!)



To celebrate the culmination of my hard work, I bought two little solar lights for 89p each and popped them in my zinc planters to create subtle illumination of my front entrance. They actually looked disappointingly stupid but I decided to roll with the idea until  I'd seen them after dark in all their glory.

I'd just finished watching The Apprentice on TV (sublime entertainment but that is a different story). As I went to get myself a glass of a water, I remembered my new solar lights. I went outside to take a look. My brain could not quite compute what I was seeing. Or rather what I was not seeing. Both my planters were glaringly obvious by their absence. Unbelievably, someone had taken them.

It is a horrible feeling to know that someone has brazenly entered your property and helped themselves to something that belongs to you.

I suppose there is the possibility that my plants were abducted by somewhat misguided aliens who at this moment are performing probes and examinations on the unsuspecting flora inside their spacecraft. Maybe my plants will reappear as mysteriously as they disappeared, none the worse for wear and with an interesting tale to tell if they only had the means to tell it. It helps me to make light of the situation.

My planters were not of any great value but they were mine and now they are gone along with the small collection of stones and cigarette butts that found a home on the surface of the compost beneath the foliage.

There is a part of me that feels a little bit proud that my humble garden decorations were deemed theft-worthy but my front door looks very bare without them. I miss my pots. I just hope that whoever has them now is better at remembering to water them than I was.

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