Garden clubs brighten city’s welcome

Published 6:00 am Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Montevallo Evening and Centrala Garden Clubs have adopted the city’s welcome signs. They’ve done so by replanting them and committing to maintaining them so there will be attractive entrances to the town.

The welcome at the intersection of Highway 25 and Middle Street was constructed just this spring and financed by monies from the Alabama Board of Tourism. A landscape plan was developed by Cedar Creek Nursery and implemented by city crews and members of the Evening Garden Club.

“We committee members enjoyed a day of spring clean-up and planting recently at the welcome site,” said Cindy Boyd, chairman of the committee. “The club donated the new flowers (lantanas) and planting materials; we installed them and will continue to maintain them.”

Boyd, Hilda Hicks, Mary Horton, Judy Morgan and Barbara Williams worked on a recent Saturday. They were assisted by Boyd’s little daughter, Chloe’, and Herschel Hale, chairman of the city’s beautification board.

The welcome entrance on Highway 119 was built several years ago. The original landscaping plan was created by Green Valley Nursery and the initial installation done by them and by city crews. This past spring the site was adopted by the Centrala Garden Club.

Joan Pickett, chairman of the project, along with Jan McKinnon and Leslie Melsoni planted limelight hydrangeas, encore azaleas and yellow lantana. The plants were from Cedar Creek Nursery and the new plan was done by Johnny Stephens. Landscaper Jake Bearden worked with the ladies.

“We wanted that entrance to Montevallo to be beautiful especially for the opening of the new Veterans’ cemetery and for visitors to the American Village,” said Pickett. “This was just something we could do as our contribution to the city.”

Both garden clubs have the reputation of giving and of sharing their talents with their community. The evening club gives parties at area assisted living and nursing homes and they regularly donate to the local elementary school, Reading is Fundamental program, the University of Montevallo Foundation and the Parnell Memorial Library Foundation.

The Centrala club has a long history of giving annual breakfasts for the city workers and of active involvement in spring festivals and the fire prevention parade and festival. They are also well-known for their donations to local programs and causes.

Catherine Legg can be reached at