Sometime during the dark, nebulous stretch between Sunday and Monday, someone crept into Wayne’s Greenhouses and Garden Center after hours.
The place is small and locally owned, and offers “40 years of experience and knowledge” from its store in Stacy, Minnesota. But the thief apparently wanted more. When staff returned on Monday morning, they found several rare plants missing. But one was “heartbreaking.”
A 12-inch hanging basket was missing from its perch overhead. It was home to a splendid pink orchid cactus. A few sad, discarded petals trailed away from the shelf below and toward the road.
Throughout the season, customers have been admiring the rosy blooms, but they weren’t for sale. This plant, owners explain in the post, was the “mother” plant for the store’s future crop. It had been on display in the greenhouse for years, beloved by its customers. Without it, Wayne’s can’t propagate seedlings for next year.
Ownership didn’t respond to interview requests, but the purpose of the Facebook post was the slim hope it would help track down the thief. If anyone had seen the orchid or its brethren, they could drop them a line.
That short missive has since been shared nearly 3,000 times and racked up hundreds of comments. Most of the responses said it was hard to believe someone would do something like this, that those responsible were “rotten,” and that surely a plant so big and beautiful was bound to be recognized.
So far, the plant has not been found or returned, but another post appeared on the Wayne’s Facebook page thanking everyone for the unexpected windfall of responses.
“News of the theft spread like wildfire on social media,” it said. “You are all amazing and so supportive.”
If you happen to see a big, beautiful pink orchid cactus lying around, shoot Wayne’s a Facebook message or call the greenhouse at 651-462-1500.