An Orelia woman said she was heartbroken after she discovered orchids in a garden bed scattered with her deceased sons’ ashes had been ripped from her backyard.
Beverly Noble, 68, said she believed the incident happened between September 26 and October 10, when she had been helping her grandson’s wife, who was close to giving birth, and also looking after her terminally-ill mother.
‘‘It was only when my mother was cremated and I picked her ashes up last Friday and went to put a sprinkle of her in the orchids with my sons’ ashes that I noticed they were gone,’’ she said.
Mrs Noble said the orchids stolen were irreplaceable gifts from her children.
‘‘My daughter bought my first orchid for Mother’s Day about 30 years ago and it became a little hobby,’’ she said.
‘‘I would grow and sell them or give them away. I used to go to an orchid nursery and pick out seedling crosses — the kids would go and buy them and so I would get a dozen tiny orchids each Christmas.’’
When Mrs Noble’s son was killed in a motorbike accident in 2008, she scattered his ashes through the orchids in his memory.
‘‘If they wish to return them I will do a trade for them,’’ she said.
‘‘I would gladly give them a collection of orchids, no words said. I couldn’t care less. It was just those orchids were special.
‘‘One had a beautiful pink flower it was called Norella Jennifer Gail, and the other was called Solana Beach Dots Delight and it was a big pink flower with burgundy spots.’’
Mrs Noble said dermatitis in her hands had slowed her gardening hobby down and she wanted to give the majority of her orchids away.