Dear Dr. Bleedingheart,
I spend lots of time and money on my flower garden. While I’m outside working, it is not unusual for complete strangers to stop and ask me for plants and bulbs. Believe it or not, three women were even brazen enough to ring my doorbell.
It is one thing to share flowers with friends and family — but with people I don’t even know? Please give me a clever response to these nervy individuals. —
–APPALLED IN WINCHESTER, VA
How about this: Laugh as if you know they’re joking, and say, "Ah yes, if only (NAME OF LOCAL NURSERY) considered plants and bulbs to be free for the taking, too!"
Or this: "You want some of these plants? Absolutely! Let’s see what else I’ve got around here that you might like. A flower pot? A deck chair? Do you like these flagstones? And after we’re done here, we’ll head over to your house and take a look at your stuff. I bet you’ve got something around there I’d like to have!"
And finally, "Actually, I love giving away plants, as long as you don’t mind digging them up yourself. Really? You don’t mind? OK, here’s a shovel. Help yourself to all the dandelion, bindweed, and Himalayan blackberry you can dig up."