My mom and I had lunch at Kirtsenbosch, as I wanted to see the nursery. As usual, I started to long for my own fynbos garden, with ericas and proteas, and pelargoniums and scented gnidias and flowers visited by sunbirds (but where would I put the roses?).
I was aware of a busy little grey-haired, sandle-wearing man, bustling about. I thought he worked there. Then, when I was over at the far end of the nursery, alone, I noticed him in the shade house, tossing some things over the fence into the botanical garden, which is separate from the nursery. I smiled vaguely at him. He darted off.
Huh, I thought.
So I went to have a look. There, lying in the tufts of grass on the other side of the fence were little pots of succulents, from one of the shelves in the nursery. I headed for the nearest salesperson, passing the little grey man on the way, who was studying the succulents on display again, and explained that they were being burgled. She dithered about a bit and then summoned two beefy security ladies to retrieve not the man, whom I described, but the plants!
Meanwhile the thief had got wind of my interest in him and had taken off his white windbreaker with NIKE emblazoned on the back, had folded it under his arm and was heading out, fast.
Um? I asked the saleslady...
He got away. I suppose I could have made a citizen's arrest: Stop, in the name of Flora!
I was bigger than him. And for some reason he did not strike me as South African; I peg him as European - something about the sandals. But I could be quite wrong.
So you see. The New York lily thief has company. They even cut their hair the same way.
And I agree. My sleuthing photos are terrible.