Stealing Dreams – Theft in Tumbler Ridge Gardens

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say onto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

St. Luke 12:24

Gardeners can be a pretty obsessive bunch, and I am no exception to that general rule. In the 1970?s stacks of gardening books held pride of place on my bedside table when I lived in a small apartment, and gardening was merely a future fantasy. The delight of planning my first real flower garden for a property that I actually owned was an absolute thrill. Purchasing this house in Tumbler Ridge in 2000 allowed me to put into practice some of those gardening dreams that I have had over the last 30 years or so. One of the first things on my agenda was a lily bed, and I constructed one that is 38? long and 3? wide at the back of my property. Over the next few years I stocked the bed with specialty lilies that I am particularly interested in: Orientpets (a cross between Oriental and Trumpet Lilies), Martigons, which are just coming back into favour, Asiatics and Trumpet Lilies. Many of these varieties are hideously expensive, costing up to $45 a bulb, and like most gardeners I agonized over cost, choices, and the like.

Last summer my lilies put on a pretty good show, but would begin to reach their potential during this gardening season. When the lilies failed to come up this spring I was alarmed and finally dug up my bed to see what was wrong with the bulbs. Imagine my dismay and shock when I discovered that there was nothing wrong with the bulbs, simply that the lily bed had been stripped of its contents! The bed was stripped last fall. The date is fairly simple to determine because the tulips that shared that bed have also been removed, but the new tulips I planted in October are blooming as I write this.

The lily bed not only represents hundreds of dollars, but also this gardener?s hopes and dreams. The theft may not mean much in a criminal calendar, but it is a real blow to me, and one that I will not easily recover from.

It is a sad and sorry comment on our community, and I can only think that if my flowers are so important that one needs to steal them – their need must be greater than mine.

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