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Who owns plants propagated by gardener using your plants

OopsyDaisyOopsyDaisy Posts: 7
I believe that a gardener that has been working for us for nearly 2 years has been taking cuttings home without asking and propagating plants by layering then taking the new plants home. Am I right to think that this is not acceptable?


  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,562
    The gardener should really ask permission before taking anything, but unless a vast number of cuttings have been taken, your plants won't have suffered. The other issue I suppose is if they've been propagating for themselves in the time that you've been paying them for, to maintain your garden, and if they've been using compost, pots etc that you've paid for. Maybe have a word - if they're good at propagating and you want more plants for your own garden, perhaps you could come to an arrangement - they grow on the cuttings and bring you back some proportion of the resulting plants. But don't be too confrontational if they're otherwise a good gardener - you might not easily find another one.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • WAMSWAMS Posts: 1,826
    I wouldn't mind.
  • Chris-P-BaconChris-P-Bacon Posts: 943
    I suppose he might have mentioned it ..but seriously, you're upset because a gardener has taken some cuttings? Really? C'mon.
    You must think he's a good gardener if you've had him for 2 years?
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,588
    I don't think it is acceptable without asking permission, seems like stealing to me, but depends on whether you can talk to the gardener and come to an agreement or whether you want to let them go. I hate it when I see people taking cuttings when looking around gardens open to the public or NGS gardens.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,633
    I had a gardener in my last garden after operations on both feet left me unable to garden for a while.   She ended up staying 4 years till we moved house and was brilliant at propagating tho I offered her divisions of plants she'd admired and she always came with something she thought my garden needed.  We ended up sharing and swapping plants between us two and other clients so you could, rather than being confrontational, suggest swapping and get plants for free.

    As @JennyJ says, it won't be harming your plants as pruning and division increase vigour and it would be daft to risk losing a good gardener.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,562
    It's the kind of thing that I wouldn't mind at all if they'd asked but I would be mildly annoyed that they hadn't. Certainly not worth getting rid of a good reliable gardener for - so many only cut grass and hedges and trim shrubs and trees into ugly blobs.
    I get slightly irritated when people take the seed heads off all the poppies within reach of my front boundary, but that's because they take them before the seeds are ripe so it's a waste. If they asked I'd save them some when it's the right time to harvest them. Open gardens are different, if everyone helped themselves to cuttings the plants would soon be stripped bare.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,433
    Why on earth would it bother you? 
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 1,002
    I knew a guy that had an aviary full of budgies. Local folk helped him out when needed. He sold offspring to cover the costs of running his aviary.
    Would he be be happy if a helper sold some of his budgies for private gain, without him knowing?
    Sunny Dundee
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 1,048
    I do a little gardening for others and wouldn't dream of taking anything without asking. I think if they are deliberately propagating plants on your own property and taking them without permission then it's a bit cheeky but the odd unrooted cutting isn't worth worrying about.
  • OopsyDaisyOopsyDaisy Posts: 7
    I'm really interested in everyone's views.  What bothers me is not so much the cuttings, it is the secrecy and taking plants that really belong in the garden even though they may have been self seeded or created through layering.
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