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Tue Jun 25, 2013, 01:06 PM

DC Metro threatens Phantom Planter with arrest if he tends his Dupont Circle station flowers

By Robert McCartney, Published: June 22 E-mail the writer
Quirky garden artist Henry Docter has been surreptitiously planting flowers in public places on four continents since 1979. His unauthorized beautification efforts have frequently aroused surprise and delight — but never a problem until this month, when he ran afoul of Washington’s Metro transit system.

Metro threatened Docter with “arrest, fines and imprisonment” if he dared to weed, water or otherwise tend to more than 1,000 morning glories and other flowers whose seeds he planted in 176 barren flower boxes alongside the top stretch of the north escalators at the Dupont Circle station.



Metro said it’s only concerned about safety. The boxes are set in steep, cobblestoned inclines, so Metro fears that Docter could hurt himself or others if he fell.

That doesn’t impress the man who calls himself the Phantom Planter. He said Metro is exaggerating the risk. He’s had little difficulty walking up and down two narrow service ramps to get to the boxes since he started planting there in October.

In addition, Docter has told Metro that he’s willing to use a harness as Metro workers do. He’d sign a liability waiver saying he wouldn’t sue Metro if he’s hurt.

“I’ve never gotten in trouble for planting flowers,” Docter, 52, said last week. “Never has anyone overreacted with such an absence of common sense.”

more
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/metro-threatens-phantom-planter-with-arrest-if-he-tends-his-dupont-circle-station-flowers/2013/06/22/87aaed02-db5f-11e2-a9f2-42ee3912ae0e_story.html?hpid=z2

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Reply DC Metro threatens Phantom Planter with arrest if he tends his Dupont Circle station flowers (Original post)
n2doc Jun 2013 OP
leveymg Jun 2013 #1
winter is coming Jun 2013 #6
Demit Jun 2013 #2
marions ghost Jun 2013 #3
ljm2002 Jun 2013 #4
jberryhill Jun 2013 #5
leveymg Jun 2013 #7

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jun 25, 2013, 01:09 PM

1. If they were smart, they'd give him a harness and a nice certificate of appreciation.

But, that's Washington . . .

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 25, 2013, 01:55 PM

6. +100. n/t

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jun 25, 2013, 01:25 PM

2. No good deed goes unpunished.

 

Here in Philadelphia, there's a wonderful strategic partnership between the city and the horticultural society. Result? Gorgeous public spaces. Urban gardeners without their own spaces happy to volunteer, and the city benefits. Where's the DC city govt in all of this??

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jun 25, 2013, 01:31 PM

3. "unauthorized beautification efforts"

--definitely a troublemaker....
What are those little cubbies for anyway?
Uncreative response.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jun 25, 2013, 01:53 PM

4. Good for him...

...and boo to Metro for not figuring out another response than to threaten him with arrest.

As an aside, when I was in DC last year I rode those DuPont circle escalators. They are very, very long, and I will admit to feeling a little vertigo as we kept rising and rising... really put butterflies in my stomach. It surprised me as it's just an escalator after all. But it was very real, happened every time I rode them.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Jun 25, 2013, 01:54 PM

5. they should go after all the unauthorized uglification in DC

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 25, 2013, 04:33 PM

7. If only you could tax ugly. . .

Last edited Tue Jun 25, 2013, 08:00 PM - Edit history (1)

to death.

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