Newly-Planted Roses Stolen at the Urban Garden Center

May 16, 2013 | PC Community


Submitted by the Honolulu Rose Society:

Upon arriving at the Urban Garden Center (UGC) on Wednesday morning, May 15th, members of the Honolulu Rose Society (HRS) were saddened to find empty holes in the ground where 13 rose plants were once thriving. Thieves had once again struck in the middle of the night jumping the four-foot fence bordering Home Depot – Pearl City on the Makai-side of the garden. “It seems like a nightmare happening all over again” remarked Myrna Cariaga, HRS President, as she recalled the same thing happening about two-years ago when the Rose Garden was first established. That theft, in 2011, amounted to approximately 40 roses over several months. It eventually stopped but started up again about three weeks ago when two rose plants went missing.

In an effort to deter any future theft, all remaining rose plants were spray-painted with white paint on their main stem for easy identification. Therefore, the plants that were just stolen on the evening of May 14th will be easy to spot in someone’s garden or if they are being sold at the swap meet. The HRS is asking the public to be on the lookout for the stolen rose plants and to report it to the police if they are spotted anywhere. The exact rose varieties stolen were as follows: (2) Peace; and one each of Love & Peace, Chicago Peace, Sevillana, Sunsprite, Sugar Moon, Coretta Scott King, Michelangelo, George Burns, Orchid Romance, Ebb Tide, and Livin’ Easy. HRS Rose Garden Director, Ron Matsuzaki commented, “Thieves may have just taken samples for now and may return for more.” HRS members and volunteers are hoping his theory won’t come true.
The UGC Rose Garden project was established in partnership with the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources in December 2009 for all members of the public to enjoy. Donations of bareroot roses from mainland rose supplier Star Roses arrived in February 2010. The roses were potted, the ground-soil prepared, and the roses were eventually transplanted in to their beds in February 2011. The Grand-Opening of the Rose Garden was celebrated in February 2012. In January 2013, a renovation of the garden was started and additional donations of bareroot roses from Weeks Roses and Star Roses arrived in February 2013. The new roses were planted in the beds in late February and early March 2013 and had just finished their second bloom cycle when they were yanked out of the beds and stolen. Before this theft, the UGC Rose Garden featured 176 roses in 33 varieties.

The UGC Rose Garden is the culmination of many hundreds of hours of volunteer work provided by members of the HRS and numerous community volunteers such as members of the Pearl Ridge Rotary, the Pau Hana Rotary, the Aiea High School Interact Club, military volunteers from Pacific Command (PACOM), and the Hawaii National Guard ROTC Youth Challenge Academy. During weekdays, the UGC Rose Garden is one of the gardens visited by elementary school children and seniors’ groups who come to the UGC on field trips to explore the gardens. During “Second Saturday in the Garden” monthly events, the UGC Rose Garden has become a destination-point for many return-visitors to the UGC. The UGC Rose Garden is the only public rose garden on the island of Oahu and features our national flower thriving in a tropical environment.

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                                                                                               Photo provided by the Honolulu Rose Society (HRS)

Honolulu Rose Society Rose Garden pictured before thieves made off with several rose plants on

May 14, 2013.

                                                                                               Photo provided by the Honolulu Rose Society (HRS)

This photo shows the holes in the ground where beautiful rose plants grown by the Honolulu Rose

Society were uprooted and stolen earlier in the week at the Urban Garden Center in Pearl City.