Expectations were fairly low for a floral resurgence when WMATA abruptly removed the bulbs that The Phantom Planter Henry Docter had sowed at the Dupont Metro. Yet, a new installation at the same stop indicates that the memory of the flowers has not been forgotten nor WMATA forgiven. To recap, Metro had threatened Docter with arrest (citing safety concerns) if they caught him tending to his flowers and then ripped them out during embankment repairs. D.C. residents took up arms and Metro issued a meek apology, but Docter's response was decidedly stoic. He went to Africa to buy new bulbs and it looked as if his guerrilla flower planting ways would reappear elsewhere, far away from red tape.
Yet, tipster Greg Nelson of The Social Epicurean sent Curbed this series of photos indicating that Docter, or at least someone inspired by his work, has not let go of this bizarre beef. The sign had already been installed by 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning when Nelson saw it. The text on the banners held down with white rope includes quotes from Metro Spokespeople regarding their justification in arresting Docter if they caught him in the act but it also states the following: "Beautification of civic space be applauded, not crushed." Also, "Flowers are beauty and life. It doesn't matter if they are given to us by the wind, by birds, by official planters, or a random Johnny Flowerseed."
· WMATA Prove They Have Heart But Miss Phantom Planter [CDC]
· Change.org Continues To Support Metro's Flower Planter [CDC]