"Hometown Habitat" Film Screening on April 19th
Healing the earth, one yard at a time

April 2016 Newsletter

In this edition:

Plant Conservation in Tennessee - Monday, April 11
NEW Film Night - Tuesday, April 19
Portable Pollinator Garden Workshop - Saturday, April 30
Restoration of the American Chestnut - Monday, May 9
Landscapes in Progress - Saturday, May 14
May Prairie and AEDC Meadow Walk - Saturday, May 28





Bradford Pears Create Landscape Issues in East TN
Why Prairies Matter and Lawns Don't



Plant Conservation in Tennessee
with David Lincicome

Monday, April 11, 2016 --  6:00 pm
green|spaces, 63 E. Main St., Chattanooga TN
FREE and open to the public

David Lincicome will provide a brief overview of the State Natural Areas  Pr ogram, highlight a few of the rare plant recovery projects in progress,  and discuss the idea of starting a Plant Conservation Alliance in Tennessee, modeled after efforts in Georgia.  

David Lincicome is the Natural Heritage Manager with the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation, Division of Natural Areas.  He is based in Nashville.  
For info on Tennessee Natural Areas, click HERE.

Film Night!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 -- 7 :00-9:00 pm
green|spaces, 63 E. Main St., Chattanooga TN
FREE and open to the public

Catherine Zimmerman (The Meadow Project) has teamed up with Doug Tallamy, PhD, and the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council to produce a new film on native plants called Hometown Habitat.  

Hometown Habitat is a 90-minute environmental, education documentary focused on showing how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems. Entomologist Doug Tallamy, whose research, books and lectures, on the misuse of non-native plants in landscaping, sound the alarm about habitat and species loss provides the narrative thread throughout Hometown Habitat

The message: "We can change the notion that humans are here and nature is some place else. It doesn't have to, and shouldn't be that way." Each individual has the power to conserve resources, restore habitat for wildlife and bring beauty to their patch of earth.

For more info, click HERE.

Portable Pollinator Garden Workshop

Saturday, April 30
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Trailhead Nursery on Signal Mountain

We all know that container gardens should have "thrillers, fillers, and spillers" but how about making them Portable Pollinator Gardens?  Learn how to take basic container garden concepts and use native plants that support pollinators in a container that can fit anyone's lifestyle, from downtown apartment dwellers to suburban patios.  

Join us at Trailhead Nursery where you will build your own 20-gallon portable pollinator garden from a Smart Pot, and select from an assortment of native plants to suit your and your local pollinators' fancy.  Included in the workshop registration is a 20-gallon Smart Pot, a bag of professional potting mix, and 8-10 native perennials and grasses to build your portable pollinator garden.

$60 for Wild Ones members 
$70 for non-members.
Class size will be limited to 10.  

Restoration of the American Chestnut
with Dr. Hill Craddock

Monday, May 9, 2016 --  6:00 pm
green|spaces, 63 E. Main St., Chattanooga TN
FREE and open to the public

The American chestnut (Castanea dentata) is a large, monoecious deciduous tree of the beech family native to eastern North America. Before the species was devastated by the chestnut blight, a fungal disease, it was one of the most important forest trees throughout its range in the eastern U.S., and was considered the finest chestnut tree in the world. It is estimated that between 3 and 4 billion American chestnut trees were destroyed in the first half of the 20th century by blight after its initial discovery in 1904. Very few mature specimens of the tree exist within its historical range, although many small shoots of the former live trees remain. 

On May 9, Dr. J. Hill Craddock will share information about his current research that is focused on the restoration of the American chestnut to the Appalachian hardwood forest ecosystem and the establishment of a commercial chestnut industry in Tennes

Dr. Craddock is the UC Foundation Davenport Professor in Biology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Science.  He teaches courses in general biology, economic botany, dendrology and mycology. 

For more program information, click HERE.

Saturday, May 14, 2016 --  9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Mark your calendars now for the Spring Landscapes in Progress tour, Saturday May 14, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  Three members of the Tennessee Valley Wild Ones will open their home gardens to a small group of members -- yet another reason to join the local Wild Ones chapter .
These informal programs provide an opportunity for education, promotion and encouragement of native plant gardening, as well as TVWO member appreciation.  Rather than a traditional "garden tour" where everything is perfect, LIPs is an event where members -- host and visitor -- can ask questions, share information about their own endeavors, and spend time with others dedicated to landscaping with native species. Over time, we have re-visited some of the same gardens to witness the evolution and growth of a landscape, all in the name of becoming better gardeners.
Registration is FREE and limited to 20 members for this spring's Landscapes in Progress. Sign up now to ensure your slot.  We will visit the gardens of Sally Wencel in Hixson, Bill Moll in Red Bank, and a third garden to be announced.  A brown-bag picnic at the last garden will cap the day's activities.  Registrants will receive the itinerary, driving directions and descriptions of the three landscapes after registration.  As always, consider carpooling with other members who've signed up for this wonderful members-only event.
Mark your calendars now for the first Summer Landscapes in Progress tour on Saturday, July 23, and for the third Fall Landscapes in Progress tour on Saturday, September 17, 2016.

May Prairie and AEDC Meadow Walk
with Dennis Horn

Saturday, May 28, 2016 
Wild Ones Members only

May Prairie and the AEDC (Arnold Engineering Development Complex) Meadow boast one of Tennessee's most diverse plant communities, with more than 300 species, 25 of which are rare in Tennessee. Adjoining the Hickory Flat Wood Wildlife Management Area (WMA), May Prairie is the only Tennessee location for both the snowy orchid and coastal false-asphodel. It also includes many species common to the Midwest tall grass prairie.

May Prairie is a 250-acre natural area in Coffee County near Manchester. An impressive open grassland community, consisting of little bluestem and tall grass prairie communities, protrudes into the nearby oak forest. A swamp forest forms the headwaters of what once was the "prairie tributary."

The walk will be led by Dennis Horn, co-author of "Wildflowers of Tennessee."  

FREE for Wild Ones Members only
Limited number of spaces available


Community Calendar

Our website has a new page that lists upcoming community programs and events that may be of interest to native plant gardeners.  The new page can be accessed under the Calendar menu on our website, or by clicking HERE.

Reflection Riding 29th Annual Spring Native Plant Sale
Thursday - Saturday, April 14-16

The 29th Annual Spring Native Plant Sale at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center is a great opportunity to purchase locally propagated native plants.

The Pre-Sale is Thursday, April 14, 2:00-7:00 pm. It is open only to members of Reflection Riding.

The Public Sale is Friday & Saturday, April 15 & 16 from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.

For more information about the plant sale, a list of available plants, and details about other programs and activities during the sale, click HERE.


Founding Gardeners
A Talk by Best-Selling Author Andrea Wulf

You're invited to Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center on May 2nd at 7:30 p.m. to see best-selling author, Andrea Wulf in a talk about the revolutionary generation from the unique and intimate perspective of their lives as gardeners, plantsmen and farmers. After the discussion, relax and enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres from 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Advance reservations for this fundraising event will be $35 per individual and $60 per couple with a discount of 20% for Reflection Riding members. Reservations the day of the event will be $45 per individual and $75 per couple with a discount of 20% for members. Seating is limited.

Click HERE for info and registration.
Call the Education Department at 423-821-1160, ext. 112 for more information.


Trailhead Nursery
April Dates

Trailhead Nursery, a project of the Friends of the Cumberland Trail, is located on Walden Ridge in Lone Oak, Tennessee at 54 Miller Cove Road right next to the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail on the Cumberland Plateau.  Trailhead Nursery is a non-profit native plant nursery dedicated to growing plants native to Tennessee and its Cumberland Plateau to use for restoration on state park land as well as provide healthy, environmentally sustainable native plants to private and public landowners.  All efforts are supported by volunteers as well as public and private donations.

Saturday, April 9, 2016.  Come and learn about landscaping for pollinators at the EarthCare workshop taking place at St Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, Ooltewah, TN, 9:30 am - 2:00 pm.  Trailhead Nursery will be selling pesticide-free native plants that support pollinators.

Saturday, April 16, 2016.  Cumberland Trail Spring Festival, Ivy Academy in Soddy Daisy. Come and learn more about the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail and Park, enjoy the festivities and buy native plants!

Saturday-Sunday, April 16-17.  Crabtree Farms Spring Plant Sale, Chattanooga.  Go to the Crabtree Farms website for more information.

Saturday, April 30, 2016.  Trailhead Nursery Open Hours, 10 am - 2 pm. 

For more info about the Trailhead Nursery, click HERE.


"Master Your Garden" Garden Expo
Presented by Hamilton County Master Gardeners

The Master Gardeners of Hamilton County, in association with the University of Tennessee Extension, sponsor its 4th annual "Master Your Garden" Garden Expo on Saturday, April 9th, 2016 from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday April 10th, 2016, from 10am to 5pm, at Camp Jordan Arena in East Ridge.   For more info about the Expo, click HERE.


Get Involved with Our Chapter

The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones is an all-volunteer organization that presents educational programs and special member events throughout the year.  Right now we're looking for new volunteers to help on the following projects:
  • Plant Natives 2017 Symposium Planning Committee.  Join this group of volunteers and help out in the areas of your choice, including program planning, venue coordination, vendors and exhibitors, marketing and publicity, registration, hospitality and more.
  • Greeters.  Become a "greeter" and welcome members and visitors to our public programs. You can choose which programs you'd like to attend.  This is a great way to get to know other members.
  • Member Picnic Planning.  Help us plan and present the summer picnic for members at Reflection Riding on June 25th.
Interested?  Need more info?  Contact us at tnvalleywildones@gmail.com


Donate a Native Plant for a Monarch Waystation

The John Wilson Butterfly and Monarch Waystation is located on Cummings Highway at the north end of Lookout Mountain within the city limits of Chattanooga.    It has been designated as a Hamilton County Master Gardener project, and Master Gardeners can receive credit for volunteer hours worked on this project.  It will be a 3-season native plant garden.

Several members of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones will be staffing a table at the Reflection Riding Spring Sale on April 14-16 where you can donate native plants from Reflection Riding for this project.  A list of plants needed for the project will be available. Please consider contributing a plant when you come to the Reflection Riding Plant Sale. 


"LIKE" Our New Public Facebook Page

In addition to our Facebook Group, where there is discussion about native plants and sharing of plant photos, we also have a NEW open and public Facebook page. On this page, we share information about upcoming programs and events, as well as links to interesting information about native plants and related topics.  Please be sure to "Like" our new Facebook page and check it often for updates and news.


NEW Program Registration Process 

We are now using new software for you to register for all paid workshops and members-only events, and it's set up for the Portable Pollinator Garden Workshop and the Spring Landscapes in Progress.   The new software will make registration and payment simpler, and you'll immediately be emailed a registration confirmation.  You'll also be able to easily see if a program is sold out.

Our Monday evening programs and the Film Night are FREE and open to the public and do NOT require pre-registration. 

You can still stay in touch and ask questions by emailing us at tnvalleywildones @gmail.com.


By the end of this month, the schedule for summer classes will be announced, and registration will be open.  Discounts will be available to members of the three partner organizations -- Wild Ones, Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, and the Tennessee Native Plant Society.  Check our website for details.


Interested in learning to identify wildflowers?   Kris Light has a great website that might be helpful - easttennesseewildflowers.com.  It has more than 700 wildflowers from Tennessee.  The "Search All Galleries" page has the flowers listed by blooming season, location (woodland or roadsides), and color.  They are listed by families within the galleries.

Download the FREE Like That Garden app on your phone.  See a plant or butterfly, take a photo, and find out what it is - instantly.

Here are few other great websites for animal identification:

If you're on Facebook, consider joining one of these groups:

What's Blooming in Tennessee - This group is dedicated to wildflower-lovers in Tennessee. Members  can add photographs of wildflowers to let others know when and where to see them. 

Tennessee Birding.   This forum is a place for birders that are i nterested in birds seen in Tennessee. This Facebook page is a place to share bird sightings, ask questions about bird identification (after trying to ID a bird first) or general bird questions, share appropriate bird photos (see next sentence), and have a friendly discussion on birds and birding topics.

What's This Bird?   Show us your bird photos and we'll help you identify them!

Tennessee Naturalists  invites anyone across Tennessee to share their discoveries abo ut birds, plants, mammals, butterflies, moths, insects, mushrooms, fish, trees and anything else related to nature. Your questions, comments and information related to nature are also welcome. The purpose of this group is to not only share information but connect with others who have an interest in nature, ecology and conservation.


for Better Photos
by Wild Ones member, Mike O'Brien
Odds versus Even
There is a general, but not absolute, composition rule in photography that favors odd numbers. It seems that odd number groupings are often more pleasing to the eye than the even numbered ones, at least in the lower numbers like 1,3,5,7,9. 

Look at the two photographs above for a bit and compare them.  You will likely find that your eyes are drawn more to the photo with the three buds. There are exceptions to this rule, for example, if you are photographing the normally paired Sweet Shrub flower buds, and you might just be able to arrange a shot of three pairs of the buds. Most of the time when photographing plants and other nature offerings, you will likely have a "numbers" choice on how many buds, flowers, leaves, fruits etc to include or not in the photo. So next time out photographing, think odd not even.

Photos from the Field

Paired Sweetshrub Flower Buds

Falcate Orangetip male
Spring Firefly. Note pollen grains on back.

Celandine poppy
Celandine poppy
                        Caulifory on Eastern Redbud tree


Bradford Pear Create Landscape Issues 
in East Tennessee

Bradford pear trees are one of the first trees to bloom in the spring in East Tennessee, but tree experts are warning that they are causing problems for the area.


Why Prairies Matter and Lawns Don't

Lawns, along with row-crop farms, "improved" grazing pastures, and urbanization, are some of the biggest negative land conversions of native landscapes, and are direct contributors to the destruction of wildlife and native plant habitats throughout the world.  As native landscapes disappear, wildlife disappear, and important ecological processes that insure outcomes such as clean drinking water, climate change buffers, and flood control also disappear.  The future of mankind depends heavily upon the health of native landscapes. [read more]


Become a Wild Ones Member!
Join the Tennessee Valley Chapter

See what's happening on our social media sites:

Wild Ones: Native Plants. Natural Landscapes is a national non-profit organization with over 50 chapters in 13 states that promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. Please read more information about Wild Ones at www.wildones.org.
The Tennessee Valley Chapter presents guest speakers, field trips and other special events throughout the year, as well as an annual native plant and natural landscaping symposium in early spring. 
To contact our chapter, email us at tnvalleywildones@gmail.com