A popular wildflower garden in downtown Gallatin is being relocated as part of a city project to save the plants from being destroyed.
Alecia Welbern, who is known as the city’s “Flower Lady,” said she was informed last month that the owner of the private property where the pollinator garden is located on South Water Avenue now needs to use the space for parking. She has until the end of July to get the plants moved.
“It’s like an oasis of joy,” Welbern said. “I knew the community loved it, but when I said it was coming down people came out of the woodwork upset that it was going away.”
Welbern started the garden as a way to help beautify the long-vacant property between West Main Street and West Smith Street in the late summer of 2017.
To date, more than 50 species of plants have taken root in the dirt and cracks of broken concrete at the site.
“I had no idea when I started this garden what it was going to do,” Welbern said. “By the third year it had really flourished and that is when people started getting in the garden and taking pictures. People tell me they even drive by here on purpose and that it’s just part of their week.”
Work is already underway to relocate most of the plants to the first of six planned gardens on city-owned property.
They will be located on North Water Avenue near Broadway and on East Eastland Avenue along the Town Creek Greenway in downtown. There will also be two new gardens added at the entrance to the recently opened Gallatin Miracle Park on Champion Drive in Triple Creek Park.
“We’re delighted that we’ve been able to rehome these flowers,” Mayor Paige Brown said about the project. “Alecia has put a lot of hard work into bringing beauty to our downtown area, and while it’s sad to lose the space she’s had, she’ll certainly be brightening some areas of town.”
According to Welbern, a smaller landscape island with wildflowers will also remain directly in front of the garden on South Water Avenue that is being relocated.
“I’m not sad anymore,” Welbern said about having to uproot the plants. “I’m very happy because I feel like now that I’m doing several gardens, more people are going to be able to see them.”