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Yesterday, when B came home from work, he found Scout all worked up. This is unusual for the afternoon, when Scout is normally in full-on nap mode. When he looked outside, he found this:

Ohh, he thought. That might explain Scout’s anxiousness. A whole slew of cats  (he counted six) asleep on our porch to avoid the afternoon drizzle. Made sense.

But later that afternoon, after the cats had gone, B decided to let Scout out to use the bathroom, and that’s when he saw our hydrangea bush. Just to remind you, these bushes were here when we moved in, planted in the ground along the fence, and in horrible condition. They had not a single leaf on them, much less any blooms. They looked dead. With our family’s help, we dug them up and transplanted them into big pots and began to nurture them back to life.

This year, they have been flourishing, and blooming like crazy. A week ago, I counted 30 blooms on the right bush. Not so anymore.

What B discovered was that our hydrangea bush had been…what’s the word to use? Destroyed? Tampered with? Robbed? Literally half the bush had been cut off, very cleanly, in a straight row through the very middle of the bush. At first he thought it was due to a storm, but there were only two blooms on the ground, and they were not very pretty (they’d been burnt from the hot sun). Where were the other roughly 15 blooms that were missing?

Upon further examination, it became clear that someone had come into the yard and actually cut the blooms from our bush. The limbs are not broken, as they would have been in a storm, but cut perfectly. The bush basically received a buzz cut. See how level it was cut across?

The cuts are easy to spot and, like I said, obviously done with garden shears. They’re too perfect to have been a result of nature. And the blooms are nowhere to be found, so they obviously didn’t blow around our yard. Where would 15-20 blooms disappear to?

We don’t know what to think except that someone took them. It appears that they tried to take the whole plant at first, because the main limb that comes up from the dirt, upon which all the other branches sprout, was torn almost completely off. Perhaps their shears wouldn’t cut through such a thick limb, and they gave up and cut what they wanted and left. Either way, we don’t expect that our bush will survive.

The crazy thing is that B’s lawnmower was sitting right there. They could have easily taken it. Our storage room door, which is on our porch, was unlocked (boo on our part), but they didn’t touch B’s tools. All they took was two-thirds of our prettiest hydrangea bush.

B used a stake and propped up the remaining portion of the bush. In hindsight, I didn’t do a very good job taking pictures; these make it look so much better than it really is. In reality, it looks really weird, a complete gap in an otherwise very full bush.

After I got home from work, we talked about what to do. It didn’t seem like the proper thing to take up the police’s time with (Can I report a missing hydrangea? Approximately 15 to 20 blooms, peak season, pure white with yellow centers?), but we may contact our home owner’s association and let them know what happened. In the meantime, we added a lock to our back fence. I guess we never thought we’d need to lock it before.

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