Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Ethics of Digging Wildflowers

I've always admired the wild orange daylilies that grow rampant in southwest Ohio during the summer months. Their brilliant orange old-fashioned blooms and slender lime green foliage can be seen cascading out of roadside ditches all across the tri-state area this time of year.

I've been to several plant nurseries the past few years and have never actually seen these specific flowers for sale. Once I get fixated on something it's hard for me to let it go, so the past couple of weeks I had hatched a plan to covertly pack a shovel and some containers into the car and go on a little "adventure" of sorts.

Well, I was on the way home from our local Lowe's this afternoon and slowed down the car to go over some railroad tracks. As I rolled through, I looked to my left and happened to notice a patch of orange daylilies growing rampant right next to the tracks. There was no house immediately nearby, and it was obvious that noone laid claim to this land or these flowers. This spot was only 30 seconds from our house, and I knew that if I were ever going to act, now would be the time.

Zipping home, I packed up my tools and quietly drove back to the spot. I scoped out the sidestreet to make sure there were no people outside to give me a hard time. Once I found a spot to park, I started working fast. Within minutes I had dug three nice clumps of lilies and was back in my car headed home.

I'm not the type of person to routinely do risky or adventurous things, so it was comical to feel my heart thumping. It would have been nice if the theme to "Indiana Jones" was playing in the background.

So my question is, is it ethical to "share the wealth" of wildflowers when it is clear that they aren't on someone's property or in a protected park area? After all, I am giving them a good home - probably a better one than the rocky oily patch by the railroad tracks.

Either way, I planted them in the front sunny bed and am hoping they will establish themselves and be carefree and happy for years to come. One more locally-sourced addition to the yard!

1 comment:

Snaggs said...

I am actually laughing out loud as I imagine you doing this. :)

I think its totally acceptable to snag some flowers by the railroad tracks. Bravo!