I’m posting this under the “Unsolved Mysteries” topic, although this is one I hope to solve as soon as possible.

Here’s the story:
Last year, Mrs. Eduardo and I planted some nice rose bushes in the front yard of the house we’re renting. We needed to put something there after having ripped out a bunch of gross old plants and weeds and stuff that were there before, and roses were an obvious solution. They worked out pretty nicely, and eventually grew to fill out the area with some nice color.

The weekend before last, I was doing some yard work and noticed that the rose bushes were full of buds and were just about to start blooming again. I was pretty pleased, because they look great once they’ve bloomed. I finished weeding and went inside.

A few days later, I looked to see if any of the rose buds had begun to bloom, and was startled to see that they were all gone. All the buds had been cut off, as if someone had pruned the rose bushes!
I went inside and asked my wife if she’d done so. She had no idea what I was talking about, and went out into the front yard with me to investigate further. We closely examined the bushes, and sure enough all the buds had been clipped off. Our rose bushes would not be blooming after all, at least not any time soon.

We haven’t been able to determine who or what would have done this, but it’s pretty apparent that it was a person. in a (possibly) related incident, I remembered seeing a weird lady walk into our front yard and start checking out our camilias a few weeks ago. She didn’t see me, and I just stared at her in amusement until she walked away. Now, I’m thinking that she could be our rose thief. I told my wife that I’m planning to tackle her if I see her in our yard again, so we’ll see if that happens. I’m not even sure that she’s the one who did this, but she’s getting a mouthful of pavement if I see her in our yard.

As of right now, I’m trying to figure out how to best protect our roses from this unseen menace. My wife suggested that we buy one of those motion-sensitive water sprinklers that people use to keep dogs away, but I’m afraid that it’d nail anybody who went past on the sidewalk. I’m considering setting up a webcam with motion detection, but it’d be a pain in the rear… and who knows when -or if – this person will ever come back?
Non-lethal land mines are too expensive, and I can’t sit for days on the porch with a rifle. I’m going to figure something else out.

Any suggestions?

I hope to have an update on this soon.