Rose poachers steal color from city garden
By David Carkhuff, Staff writer
Rose poachers have become a thorn in the side of the city, stealing fresh blooms from a nationally recognized rose garden at Deering Oaks.
Gardeners at the Deering Oaks Rose Circle, located on the east end of the park next to State Street, noticed Monday that somebody had illegally cut roughly 100 roses from the display garden, according to John Shannon, horticultural supervisor with Portland Public Services.
"Somebody is starting to harvest," he said Tuesday. "We came in Sunday, and as of yesterday, it looked like somebody had cut 100 roses."
This was a repeat of a problem first noticed last year, he said.
The Rose Circle features 600 rose bushes and is one of only 134 rose gardens in the United States where the American Rose Society previews its "All American Rose Selections," offering a sneak peak of award-winning roses a year before they go on the market.
"It's a jewel to the city of Portland," Shannon said.
Last year was the first that city crews noticed large-scale thefts of roses, Shannon said, marking a new, disturbing trend.
"We've come in and found scissors on the ground. A lot of times it seems to be happening on a later Sunday," Shannon said.
On weekends and evenings, if someone in the public sees pruning happening in the rose circle, they should call the police, because it's not a city gardener but a vandal, he said.
But the bulk of the theft appears to be organized. Shannon said he's saddened to see the poaching, something that had not happened on this scale in the rose circle's 71-year history.
Anyone with information about the rose circle vandalism is asked to call Portland Police at 874-8479.
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Friday, July 10, 2009
Rogue rose thievery
Well, you've read about weird crime here on the blog before, but this one is new to me. Portland's Deering Oaks park, just down the block from me, is a great place in the summer months, and many come simply to smell the roses in the gorgeous circle garden between High Street and State Street. Apparently, someone has been loving them too much, though. The city is looking for help in nabbing the crooks. The Portland Daily Sun reports: