CALLOUS: All that's left of the garden.
CALLOUS: All that's left of the garden. Contributed

Man's anger as last flower of hope ripped from the ground

CALLOUS thieves have ripped out almost 50 ornamental flowers from a shopping centre garden leaving the man who planted them angry and deflated.

The flowers were meant to symbolise hope and a community's rebirth after the devastating floods tore through North Bundaberg in 2013.

The Little Green Frog owner Clint Heathorn and his staff members planted about 24 anthuriums and two dozen crotons inside Northway Plaza about mid-2013.

"There used to be a juice bar in the middle of the shopping centre but it was damaged after the floods,” Mr Heathorn said.

"We put a garden in there and maintained it to beautify the area and add a bit of greenery.”

In the years since, the flowers have been plucked from the garden, one by one, until last week when the solitary white anthurium was stolen.

"I went out there and saw the hole in the soil and thought 'the bloody mongrels have got him too',” Mr Heathorn said.

"We work hard for everything we have but there are some people out there who don't think that, and they think can just take things that don't belong to them.”

Mr Heathorn let his feelings be known on his business's Facebook page with a photo of the empty hole where the last flower once bloomed.

"This pic might not look much but it's where our very last anthurium once stood in the centre garden at Northway Plaza,” Mr Heathorn wrote.

"Some lowlife piece of garbage decided to steal it.

"Well, this is a message to the waste of oxygen who thinks it's okay to remove plants.

"You're stealing from a hard-working, local family business that planted (and maintains) a garden at its own expense.”

The post was greeted by universal empathy for Mr Heathorn's plight.

Mr Heathorn said he had not reported the matter to police but felt it was worth letting people know this sort of thing happens.

"I think most of the people in our community are decent hardworking people, but there is an element who don't think the rules apply to them,” Mr Heathorn said.

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