DC Metro rips out Phantom Planter’s flowers at Dupont Circle station

Photo courtesy of “Let My Flowers Grow” Ricky Carioti/Washington Post: Henry Docter, 52, next to Morning Glories he planted at DC’s Dupont Metro North Station, June 21, 2013. The DC Metro transit system is mocked by the unfortunate locals who use it as a vortex of epic fail; trains don’t run on time, air conditioning… READ THE REST

half those complaints are nothing compared to a proper mass transit system like NYC or London or Paris, happen daily…

How sad. I grew up there, and when I was a kid the Metro was the epitome of awesome. Like going to Tomorrowland, plus the Smithsonian.

that was my memory, too, from visiting as a kid in the mid 80s. we stayed in Arlington and bussed to the nearest train stn everyday, toured all the sights that way. it was really nice, easy, and futuristic looking. guess those days are gone.

to the topic, Docter has the right idea. he’s of a different generation, but i think as the graffiti generation ages, non-graf guerrilla urban beautification is getting even more common. i started pruning overhanging branches on the sidewalks of my neighborhood since the damn city or my stupid neighbors with adjacent property were obviously never going to and it was just ridiculous. whole blocks you’d have to bend over or go in the road. i was getting my danged eye poked out every time i walked the dog, so i started taking pruning shears with me. came out real nice. wheelbarrowed a bunch of gravel over to where the park eroded a few times, too. it all felt the same as when i used to put up murals. like, the middle-aged fart version of putting up murals.

doesn’t DC Metro know the rules? when you go over someone you have to burn them i.e. put up something better. Docter got dissed, for sure.

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He could have chosen a better plant. Vine type plants could get out of control pretty quickly and can develop thick roots, so unless he was planning to do some guerrilla pruning every so often it could cause problems in the future.

How can you tell what they are?

The WP article says they were morning glories, cardinal flowers and cypress vines. It probably wouldn’t be as much of a problem there as in an open field, as there wouldn’t be much earth for the morning glories and cypress vines to grow into. However, they could be difficult to remove if they did get established and (full concern troll mode on) might interfere with the workings of the elevator, leading to more breakdowns. Or it could just make the place look nicer.

Morning Glories are annuals. They’re prolific seeders, but they don’t have particularly deep roots. What the heck are those dirt pockets doing in the retaining wall if they’re not for flowers?

The morning glories we tend to have over here (Cali Bay Area) are generally of a perennial variety, but those ones (by the color of the flowers) looked like annuals to me.

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