Money Moral Dilemma: Would you pick herbs from a stranger's hedge?

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  • debbsie
    debbsie Posts: 17 Forumite
    Where I live, people aren't averse to nicking your wheelie bin, so a few rosemary sprigs won't stop 'em . . although they would rather it was some other kind of herb . . . .
    . . . there's debt you have to pay, and debt you can get away with . . know the difference . . they can't hang you for it!!!
  • flower11
    flower11 Posts: 110 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    If it's overhanging the footpath, fine ... if you have to enter the garden to get it, that's theft.

    With all street side crops, remember to pick above dog level!
  • Yes I would pick some Rosemary as the hedge has grown out into the street it belongs to the public
  • In many Northern European countries they have a very different approach to these things - In Sweden it is called Frilift-life(sp?) or 'Free Life' which is not only about access (they have basically the freedom to roam) but also states in law that you can pick fruit, herbs, vegeatables etc at will. That right is also balanced by the responsibility to only take what you need and not spoil the landowners or someone elses enjoyment. (So you cannot for instance pick all the herbs or strip a tree of lots of fruit)

    So I was stood at a bus stop in Sweden, and most of the people queuing were helping themselves to the apples from the tree overhaning the pavement. The same was happening in southern Germany as well when I was there- with people helping themselves to a plum or two from a tree as they walked past...

    So I would.
  • JayD
    JayD Posts: 698 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    I would not take any without asking first.
    I'd knock on the door and politely ask - the owner might even offer you a rootable cutting.
    Peeps are proud of things they grow :)

    I'd also make sure I took it from a high point on the inside of the garden, if I got permission - or from the very top.
    Things overgrowing onto pavement side - unless extremely tall - are normally peed on by dogs. Think on't!
  • JimmyTheWig
    JimmyTheWig Posts: 12,199 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    It's overgrown and spilling out onto the pavement.
    You're doing the owner and the public a favour by taking some.

    You can't use the argument "if everyone did it there'd be none left" because you'd get to a point where it wasn't "overgrown and spilling out onto the pavement" before there was none left and so at that point in thyme (sorry) it would no longer be fair game.

    Obviously you need to be careful not to do any damage, etc.
  • I wouldn't think twice about carefully picking a small amount of rosemary from a well established bush that's in easy reach of the pavement. Having to enter the garden for it is a different matter and you would require permission. I frequently pick small amounts of thyme from my local park as and when required for my supper. These plants thrive from regular and careful pinching back. I would also be more than happy for my neighbours to carefully help themselves to any well established herbs overhanging from my front garden. Front gardens are there to encourage a community spirit, and what better way than by sharing your over-abundant crops!
  • Yes, I'd pick it. These days why would you buy rosemary? It seems to have become one of the top shrubs to be used in urban planting schemes - parks, hospital grounds, car parks, walkways, etc. But look out for a plant that won't be subject to too much direct pollution from traffic.
  • I would probably pick it, not saying that it is right to do that as I have no moral values.
  • rsbystry
    rsbystry Posts: 41 Forumite
    Absolutely I would. But only because I would be helping to keep their hedge tidy. :A He he;)
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