The Great Peony Caper

Cabbagetown native, Kimberley Ezeard, explores her experiences in selling and buying Cabbagetown real estate

 
We Cabbagetown gardeners are a devoted, creative and proud group. We’re motivated by the love of the work and the results of our efforts, so it’s easy to be offended and outraged when someone comes along and deliberately lopes off the emerging blooms from our plants.
This spring we experienced the theft of peonies all over the neighbourhood. My neighbor on the corner of Amelia and Metcalfe nurtured her plant for years and enjoyed its blooms, but was shocked and angered when she came out to see if the buds were closer to opening, and someone had come into her garden overnight and carefully cut each stem and taken them away.  Who would do such a thing and why?

 
I was walking my dog along Wellesley St. later that day and noticed a sign on the south side of the street challenging whomever had cut and stolen their peonies, I’ll leave out the expletives…

 
Interesting, as I continued along Wellesley and then throughout the rest of the neighbourhood, I took notice that many of the peonies had been cut, most of them close to fences and sidewalks. Also, there were a couple more signs challenging the thief.
Indeed, who would do such a thing and why?

 
As the summer continues, more than peonies have gone missing, an entire tree peony was pulled right out of the ground, long stemmed roses and irises snipped as they were budding and readying to open, all cut carefully from neighbours gardens, usually at night.

 
I understand the frustration from the gardeners as they put so much time, energy and love into their efforts. Each plant is chosen with care and as a creative expression of that gardener.
Although the gardens are a labour of love for the people who build and tend them, they are also a way of sharing and giving back to the entire neighbourhood. They inspire neighbours to stop and get to know one another, visit and share stories (even glasses of wine and beer!). As a local realtor, I recognize every one of these gardens enhances the beauty and value of the community and make it one of the most livable and greenest pockets in the city of Toronto.
So, to the great peony thief, this is not the passive theft you believe it to be, you are impacting a neighbourhood. Leave the plants alone for everyone’s enjoyment and to maintain the motivation of the gardeners to keep up the good work for the entire community.

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