Washington D.C. Metro Rips Up 1,000 Donated Flowers

| by Michael Allen

Garden artist Henry Docter secretly planted 1,000 flowers at the Dupont Circle subway station in Washington D.C. two weeks ago.

Docter calls himself the "Phantom Planter."

In response, the Washington D.C. Metro sent employees to the station to rip the flowers out last Sunday, reports the Washington Post.

The Metro employees ripped up more than 1,000 morning glories, cardinal flowers and cypress vines, which Docter was not authorized to plant.

If the plants had been allowed to stay, they would have bloomed red, white and blue, from August to October.

“It never occurred to me that Metro would think it was more efficient to rip out the plants than to let someone water them,” Docter told the Washington Post.

“We want to meet with the community and see what the community would like. We will move forward with their wishes, as long as they are reasonable, sustainable and safe,” said Michael McBride, manager of Metro’s Art in Transit Program, on June 21.

But there was no meeting, which has caused some anger among residents who wanted the flowers. They will now have resign themselves to gray-colored concrete.

“They paid people to tear out plants that everyone loves? Well, this is cause for insurrection. Talk about fixing something that’s not broken,” said Robin Diener, a member of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association.

On Friday, Metro spokeswoman Caroline Lukas said the flowers were removed after they had wilted, but Docter countered: “Rain would make them not wilt, and all we’ve had is rain."

According to the Washington Post, total rainfall in June was more than double the monthly average.

“The fact is, not all performance pieces end in comedy. The flowers have been uprooted, but the memory of the gift remains in our brain, and that’s something that no bureaucrat . . . can ever take away,” said Docter.

Source: Washington Post