Metro's Phantom Planter strikes again

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The phantom planter strikes again!

The D.C. artist who made Metro mad last year by planting flowers at the Dupont Circle stop, is tweaking the Metro again.

Henry Docter set up a big screen at the top of the escalators and played a video with all kinds of people singing, "Where have all the flowers gone, Metro's killed them, everyone."

The phantom planters daffodils are almost as persistent as the artist. Some sprouted again this spring among the trash and cigarette butts, a year after Metro ripped them from the planters next to the escalator at the Dupont Circle station.

"Metro can do a lot of things slowly. But one thing they can do quickly is remove flowers," says Docter.

Docter planted 150 daffodils and tulips in the planter boxes two years ago. He planted 1,500 mixed blooms last spring.

"I'm not exactly sure why. I might be a little crazy," he says.

But a lot of people figure Metro's response was even crazier. It said it was way too dangerous for Docter to tend the flowers on the slope and threatened to arrest him if he came back.

"I don't know what their definition of dangerous is, but it's made up. Some lawyer made it up," said Dale Doucette, peering over the wall at the planter boxes.

The phantom planter's first protest of the spoil-sports was a plastic box stretched on a clothesline across the station. "Inside were all the stupid things Metro said," says Docter. 'We will not tolerate this provocation. We must not let his phantom planter inspire others."

Last summer, Metro said it ripped out the flowers because it was repairing the pavers here. Now, Metro says the paver repair is finished, and it will plant some low maintenance ground cover next week.

The phantom planter figures the ground cover will not last and that flowers would have been much prettier. "I just wanted to make people smile," he said.

Docter says Metro has been talking about planting ground cover for over a year now and has never gotten around to actually doing it.


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