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Plantgasm - I love plants too much. By Derek Powazek.

A Hole in My Park

I live near Buena Vista Park. She’s not the biggest park in San Francisco, nor the flashiest, but she’s our park – Heather and I walk the dogs there every day. At a certain point in our daily loop, on a hillside of native wildflowers, stood one of my favorite plants: a healthy clump of Calla Lilies (aka Zantedeschia aethiopica) that stood out from all the rest. Every year they bloomed like crazy, and spread out a little more. But no more.

At some point in the last day or two, the clump of lilies disappeared, leaving only this hole in its place.


The spray of leaves around the hole shows that someone was just interested in the bulb. They pulled it up, tore off the outer leaves, and walked away, leaving a two-foot wide hole, and taking a little bit of daily joy out of our park.

Now, I’ve collected seeds from parks. I’ve even taken cuttings from plants to root at home. But I’ve never, and would never, uproot a plant to steal it whole hog. It’s just so wrong. And it hurts to look over at that empty hole in my park. It feels like a hole in my heart.

I may just have to go buy a Zantedeschia aethiopica to plant in that spot.

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5 Responses

People suck. Though at least they’ve always sucked: it’d be way more depressing if this were a new development.

Posted by mr_subjunctive on 24 June 2011 @ 8am

While stealing the bulbs DOES seem like a heinous crime, I wouldn’t give up on good old Zantedeschia aethiopica. She seems like a pretty hardy specimen. Every time I’ve tried to move her (or get rid of her) she seems to come back with gusto.

Posted by Kevin-John on 24 June 2011 @ 8am

You can put Davin’s sign there in its place.

Posted by Gayla on 24 June 2011 @ 8am

I always want to snip little succulent cuttings that I see in public landscaping, but I manage to keep my hands to myself. But to dig out a bulb? Who does that?? I’d want to put a big sign where that hole is, to shame them a little bit.

Posted by Charlie on 24 June 2011 @ 1pm

Could it have been a pocket gopher. I remember the first time I encountered them it looked like someone had yanked the plant up out of the ground but then my gardening mentor gave me a lecture about the nasty little buggers.

Related to the human variety of little buggers I once had a friend who gardened in her tiny front yard in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. One day she came out and discovered a young man digging up one of her perennials. When she asked what he was doing he said “My mother needs this”.

Posted by Kaveh on 30 June 2011 @ 2am


Plantgasm is where Derek Powazek chronicles his botanical antics and misadventures. More.