Archive 2008 - 2019

Guerrilla Gardener Strikes Again In Washington, D.C.

by Carol Miller

Henry Docter, dubbed the Phantom Planter by the Washington Post, has been engaged in a form of civic protest at one of Washington D.C.’s most active Metro stations, and his efforts have been chronicled by the Washington Post.

In the spring, Docter planted more than 1,000 morning glories in 176 unused flower boxes that are a major architectural feature around the Dupont Circle Metro station’s escalators, the Washington Post reported in June. Although he had done similar public plantings without authorizations all over the world, Docter was threatened with arrest if he was caught trying to water the plants, the Washington Post reported.

The Washington Post reported in July when Metro authority pulled out the plants. The community was upset and more than a 1,000 people flooded the comments section to express their viewpoints. It also spurred Docter to create a petition to allow plants to stay in public spaces like the Dupont Circle station. The petition garnered more than 10,000 signatures, the Washington Post reports.

Then this past weekend, on October 27, Docter staged a civil disobedience protest, the Washington Post reports. He dressed in what looked like official worker clothing and raised a protest sign in the shape of a cube. The framework was wrapped in plastic that had quotes from the comments section of the Washington Post articles, including some of the negative ones. The Metro moved more quickly this time, and the sign was pulled down the same day.

The Washington Post created a gallery of photos of original plantings, Docter and the protest sign, which you can see here.

Carol Miller is editor of Today's Garden Center. You can eMail her at