This story is being treated

This story is being treated as amusing by most of the news agencies that are covering it, but it is actually a serious problem for public gardens and nurseries. I’ve seen people take cuttings, flowers and even whole plants and put them in their pocket or bag, both at the nursery and elsewhere. The trouble is, even taking cuttings is a theft – and the cumulative damage can be considerable. Imagine a garden like the one in the article – it receives 60,000 visitors each year – if each one of them took a cutting, it wouldn’t be long before the garden was reduced to bare earth.
We have a policy at work – if we catch anyone taking a cutting, we charge them as if they were buying a fully grown plant (so that is around £5 – £10). I think if other gardens and nurseries imposed similar punitive measures, this sort of thing would cease. I’ve even heard that it is common practice amongst some garden visitors to carry scissors, plastic bags and even labels to facilitate theft!