It's SUMMER!  Join us and learn about summer flowers.
Healing the earth, one yard at a time

August 2017 Newsletter

In this edition:

History of Botanical Illustration - August 14
Middle Ocoee Raft Trip to See Rare Asters - September 10
Sunflowers & Relatives - September 11
Book Club - Coming Soon!


Plant Form & Function I - September 9
Native Plant Communities - September 16 (SOLD OUT)
Plant Form & Function, Part 2 - October 14
Landscape Design - November 11


NEW Pollinator Plant List on the Website!



Photo above is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Joe Pye Weed.


Monday, August 14, 2017
6:00 pm, green|spaces
63 E. Main St., Chattanooga
FREE and open to the public

Join botanical artist Linda Fraser to learn about 
the history of botanical illustration, beginning in 1450 BC.

Sunday, September 10
Middle Ocoee River
Wild Ones Members Only

Join Lisa Lemza, Tennessee Valley Wild Ones President, 
for a memorable raft trip on the Middle Ocoee River 
to see Ruth's Golden Aster (P tyopsis ruthii ), 
one of the world's rarest native plants.

Monday, September 11, 2017
6:00 pm, green|spaces
63 E. Main St., Chattanooga
FREE and open to the public

The date isn't set yet, but go ahead and start reading!
We'll be talking about  FOUNDING GARDENERS: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation , by Andrea Wulf.
Here's a review of the book to whet your appetite.


We Need Your Help!

The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones is led by a 100% volunteer board, and all of our programs and activities are implemented 100% by volunteers (only our instructors and presenters are compensated in any way).
We invite ALL Wild Ones members, as well as those considering becoming a member, to become involved.  Volunteering is the best way to meet others who are passionate about biodiversity and determined to garden and live responsibly.  Members are an unrivaled source of knowledge on regional conditions and plants, and are willing to share both. Volunteering helps expand the chapter's work in our community and increase our impact as we work to save the world, one yard at a time!

NEW Certificate in Native Plants Classes

The Certificate in Native Plants program is designed to expand students' knowledge of botany, ecology, conservation, and uses of native flora in the southeastern United States. Students will get both classroom education and hands-on application to increase knowledge and skills that can be applied at home, in the community, and at work. The course setting will provide a common ground for native plant enthusiasts to meet and connect with others who share their interests. 

The CNP is designed to benefit both home gardeners and landscaping professionals alike.  You do NOT need to be working toward the Certificate in order to register for classes.

If you are interested in working toward YOUR Certificate, please note that the Plant Form & Function classes are CORE classes required for the Certificate.  Now is a good time to get those classes in!

CNP classes are limited to 25 participants.  They fill up quickly, so register now to ensure your place.  

Click the buttons below for program details and registration.

Plant Form & Function - Part 1
Instructors: Richard Clements & Mary Priestley
Saturday, September 9, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Reflection Riding Arboretum &  Nature Center
CORE Class (6 credits)

Plant Form & Function - Part 2
Instructors: Richard Clements & Mary Priestley
Saturday, October 14, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m 
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
CORE Class (6 credits)

Landscape Design
Instructor: Daniel Talley
Saturday, November 11, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m 
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)


Summer Landscapes in Progress
Native Plant Gardening Up Close

It was a hot summer day on July 22nd, but a hardy group of Tennessee Valley Wild Ones members and three terrific hosts took the opportunity to share and learn from each other about native plant gardening ... and to see three different "landscapes in progress."  Susan Schott, Stephan Egelsroth and Lucy Scanlon kindly opened their gardens for about twenty other Wild Ones, and as always, we all learned so much from each other about what grows where, what has worked and what hasn't worked here in the Tennessee Valley.

Our Fall 2017 LIPs is currently set for Saturday, September 30th, so save the date!  If you know of Wild Ones members' landscapes you've visited or heard about - or if YOU would like to share your garden - please tell us. Big, small, in-ground or balcony/deck/patio, town or country, DIY or professionally installed -- all varieties might be possibilities for that date. Perfection is NOT allowed! Remember, the "ideal" LIPs garden is one where we can all share and learn from each other.

Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs District III
and Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones 
announce pollinator partnership

District III Director Candace Chazen has announced that the twelve clubs in the district will each establish Pollinator Gardens and Monarch Waystations.   Recognizing that the reasons for the decline of pollinators is a loss of habitat and the high use of pesticides, all of the 12 gardens will contain native perennials, shrubs and small trees.  All the plant material will be pesticide free and no pesticides will be used in or around the gardens.  

All of the clubs will be using Wild Ones' handouts such as "Over-the-counter products toxic to Pollinators" and "Native Plants for Pollinator Gardens" from the Chattanooga Area Pollinator Partnership (CHAPP) website. All of the clubs will follow the CHAPP criteria for the gardens.

In addition, TFGC District III will lobby local cities to participate in Bee City USA The Bee City USA program endorses a set of commitments, defined in a resolution, for creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet.  The first presentation about the initiative will be before the Lookout Mountain Council on Tuesday, August 15 at 5:00 about Lookout Mountain becoming a Bee City USA site.  The TFGC will also appear before the Lookout Mountain, GA council.  The other cities involved will be Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Dayton, TN.


Make Room for Joe Pye
" Some plants shout their season to me when I see them. Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis ) is very much spring, and goldenrod (Solidago ) is a quintessential fall. Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium  spp.) is a definite summer plant. Just when it gets unbearably hot, Joe Pye weed opens up a dome-like inflorescence of tiny flowers, delighting dozens of pollinators and giving them sustenance through the hot days."  

NEW Plant List on our website!
The Chattanooga Area Pollinator Partnership (CHAPP), a project of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones, has a NEW and very helpful plant list available on our website. The list shows the growing requirements for various plants that benefit pollinators (i.e., sun/part shade/shade, dry/moist/average soils). It also notes those plants which serve as butterfly hosts, an important part of any butterfly garden. Take this list with you when you're shopping for plants this fall!  Plant list.

Elephantopus tomentosus (Devil's grandmother).   There are two species of Elephantopus that are differentiated by their leaf pattern. The  E. tomentosus has very large basal leaves and no stem leaves. E. carolinianus has small leaves along the hairy stem and base. They have identical flowers at the end of a stalk with the 3 leaf bracts beneath..  Photo by Mike O'Brien.

Eupatorium pilosum (Rough boneset).  Note the  the purple stems of the inflorescence.   This plant is approximately 2 feet high, with deeply toothed and ovate leaves that are paired-opposite with each pair alternating 90 degrees from those above and below.   Photo by Mike O'Brien.

Mountain Mint flowers are  a preferred location to find Crab Spiders hunting. Photo by Mike O'Brien

A freshly-laid (on Saturday, July 29th) Gulf Fritillary butterfly egg on a Purple Passion Vine leaf in Mike's yard. Mike saw the butterfly laying the eggs! They often they lay the eggs on the ends of the vine's tendrils to avoid predation.  Photo by Mike O'Brien.

Immature male Widow Skimmer.   Note the faint smoky white wing patches developing lateral to basal black wing patches. Mature male has fully developed white patches and a blue body. Immature male and female have a similar appearance. Photo by Mike O'Brien.

White-lined Sphinx moth, about 2" in length, looks to be newly emerged. This is an exceptionally pretty moth that shows beautiful red patches on its hind wings above (dorsal) when the the forewings are spread widely. Only the dorsal forewings are seen in this photo.  Photo by Mike O'Brien.


Become a Wild Ones Member!
Join the Tennessee Valley Chapter

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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
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