The real estate department from Washington’s Metro Transit system has recently become aware of unauthorized flowers springing up in planter boxes on public property. Along the north side of their Dupont Circle station, hundreds of mysterious morning glories and other flowers have been coming up in planter boxes along the Metro’s north escalators.
Metro found out who the secret flower planter was when they received a polite letter on June 3 written by the flower planter himself, Henry Docter. Henry sent a letter asking permission to continue caring for hundreds of flowers he had planted a week earlier at the Metro transit system.
“Arrests, fines, and imprisonment” for planting flowers
Immediately, the Metro responded to Docter on June 11 with a “cease and desist” letter threatening “arrest, fines and imprisonment” if Docter tried to weed, water, or tend to the flowers. Concerned about public safety, Metro said that they didn’t want Docter or anyone else to be injured caring for flowers that were set in steep, cobblestone inclines.
The 52-year-old garden artist, Henry Docter, who has planted flowers in public places on four continents since 1979, said, “I’ve never gotten in trouble for planting flowers. Never has anyone overreacted with such an absence of common sense.”
Docter, who calls himself the “phantom planter” doesn’t deny that he is “a little nuts,” but planting flowers is something that he loves to do and has been doing for 34 years. “Flowers are nature’s way of affirming how beautiful life can be,” says Docter. He’s more famously known for his clandestine horticulture and the planting of more than 40,000 flowers at the American Embassies in Israel, Argentina, Spain and Cambodia.
A passion to garden – punished
Docter isn’t some freak on the street whose goal is to disrupt the public. Instead, Docter is a husband, father of two, part-time lawyer, author, and collage artist who just has a knack to garden. His friendly public gardening is loved by many.
A man who lives nearby the Metro station, Mike Stirratt, said that Docter’s passion for planting “is fantastic,” as he questioned the Metro’s threats of prosecution, “It seems incredibly unfair that they would prosecute you for doing something to help the neighborhood.”
As the issue gains more public attention, Docter hopes to raise awareness about his predicament with the Metro Station through an online petition. The petition has already drawn more than 2,000 signatures in a week.
Visit http://www.letmyflowersgrow.com/ to support Docter and a fellow team of neighborhood activists who are discussing ways to compromise with the Metro station.
To read more of this article and or to support, Henry Docter’s cause, click the link below.
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