I feared that Metro would merely neglect the flowers. Instead, last Sunday, it sent workmen to yank them out.

The transit system regularly pleads poverty, yet employees devoted supposedly valuable time to remove more than 1,000 morning glories, cardinal flowers and cypress vines that Docter donated to the city — albeit without permission. The plants would have bloomed from August to October in a patriotic display of red, white and blue.

Instead of greenery today and colors to come, the 176 flower boxes along the top stretch of the escalators at the station’s north entrance now feature dirt, a few straggling stems and the occasional discarded soda can.

“It never occurred to me that Metro would think it was more efficient to rip out the plants than to let someone water them,” Docter said.