'Gallatin Flower Lady' forced to move her urban wildflower garden

Pollinator garden
Posted at 3:54 PM, Jul 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-04 07:31:01-04

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — The community was in an uproar after finding out an urban wildflower garden would be uprooted.

The hidden gem is a town favorite in Gallatin. “Just a little piece of heaven right here,” Renee Lindsay said. "She’s brought enjoyment to those just sitting at the red light.”

Now, the property owner wants to use the pollinator garden as a parking lot. It came as a shock to Alecia Welbern, known as the Gallatin Flower Lady, who volunteers 8-10 hours a week to make it beautiful. "It’s somber for me yes because of Alecia’s blood, sweat, and tears," Lindsay said.

Before it was vacant, Lindsay's grandfather had a business called Allen’s Cafe in the spot. It’s sentimental, so she came by to help Welbern pull out the plants.

After calls to city hall from upset residents, officials stepped in to save the flowers. "The city heard the outcry of all the citizens that they want the wildflowers, and they love them," Welbern said.

The flowers aren’t moving far, they’re going from between buildings on South Water Street to North Water Street a few blocks away. They’re hoping the transplant process doesn’t shock or ruin them.

Now, with the mayor's blessing, Welbern will have half a dozen mini gardens throughout the city.

“I like it. I’ll be a little more organized this time," Welbern said.

So Welbern doesn't have to go through this again, the City of Gallatin has hired her on as a contractor to be in charge of the mini gardens. Crews will help her water the flowers since it's city property.

"Means not only that the flowers are loved, but the people love me, and what I do," Welbern said.

She hopes the birds, bees, and butterflies will be able to find their way to the new gardens.