News from Across the Pond: Plant Thefts Have Doubled?


This just in from The Sun, that all-important source of celebrity news and gossip:  Plant thefts have doubled. According to this alert reporter:

This year, according to insurance experts, thefts from gardens will top £300million,
with the typical loss to every household being £387.

Insurance  experts?  People report garden thefts to their insurance company?  Seriously?


  1. dicksonia with 2 foot trunks are currently running at US$175 in some UK stores so if I lost a newly installed grove of 5 footers then yeah I’d probably be calling the insurance co.

  2. Rare specimens, large specimens, trendy plants, garden antique$, stately benches and even a jacuzzi tub.
    What a tub ? Yes.
    On one of our projects thieves came in over the construction chain link fence and took valuable masonry / cut cutting tools and helped themselves to some plants .
    Another separate project was being constructed two houses down the same street and they lifted a brand new Jazucci tub right out of the back yard and cut the construction barrier fence.
    In the past I have been hired for insurances purposes to video document a historic garden estate.
    When you have that type of investment , one should have it insured.
    In some cases the exterior landscape architecture is worth more than the house or can not easily ( if at all ) be replaced if stolen , vandalized or destroyed in fire .

    Several years ago there was a run on thievery in historic cemeteries. They were hauling away incredibly beautiful hand carved stone monuments.
    Either Garden Design or Horticulture magazine carried an article on this. They caught the thugs eventually and their photo and names were publicized.

  3. Please regard anything that you read in the Sun with a certain cynicism. Especially if written by Peter Seabrook who, while charming in reality, is as close to the chemical spraying/peat consuming/environment damaging/slug pellet scattering/ genetically modified bogeyman that you will ever meet.

  4. I have had my own problem with a plant thief, but my thief is not doing it for the money. She has a mental issue that impels her to steal and break branches off of other peoples shrubs. I have caught her and confronted her with a modicum of success. You can read all about it here:

    or here:

    or here:

    It makes me want to move to the country and buy a big fence.

  5. For The Sun read National Enquirer lite. Likewise Daily Mirror, News of the World and The Star.Trash, with topless women on page 3.
    For real news try the Telegraph, Times or Observer.

  6. Tabloid trash or not, it goes to show just how much the English value and spend on their gardens, and how little Americans value theirs. If someone made off with one of my mature Japanese Maples in containers, you BET I’d report it to the police and the insurance company! If someone trespasses and damages plants in my small garden, and does so more than once, I prosecute for tresspassing. I spend a lot of time, money and effort on my garden, and I won’t have people thoughtlessly spoiling it.

  7. I’ve had 2 plastic containers stolen so far this year. Empty — before annuals went in — but I had to replace them. So far I’m out $25. I’m sure it was kids just doing it to see if they could get away with it, because they passed by $150 worth of plant material and probably another $100 of tools and materials to take 2 stupid plastic containers.

  8. National Enquirer-lite is a bit excessive. Historically the sun is, whilst not as in-depth as the broadsheets mentioned, focused on serious news in addition to gossip and focussed ina way that tends to reflect (for good and bad) British national opinion.

    But yeah Seabrook’s a spray-happy joker.

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