Holiday Potluck Party on Dec. 14.  Register now for Mushroom programs in January!
Healing the earth, one yard at a time

December 2015 Newsletter

In this edition:

Upcoming Events:
Members' Holiday Potluck Party - December 14
Soul Mates for Life: Mushroom Lecture with Tradd Cotter - January 8, 2016
Mushroom Cultivation Workshop with Tradd Cotter - January 9, 2016
Members' Dinner with the Symposium Speakers - March 4, 2016
Native Plant Symposium - March 5, 2016

In the News:
Monarchs get help from unlikely source.
Who left all these twigs in the woods?
Benefits of leaf "litter"

Photos from the Garden

Become a Wild Ones Member

Members' Holiday Potluck Party
Monday, December 14
6:00pm at green|spaces
63 East Main Street, Chattanooga

Join members of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones for a casual holiday potluck gathering.  Bring a food dish and come have a fun time with other native plant enthusiasts.  We will supply beverages, plates and utensils.

We invite everyone to bring one or more cans of food for those in our community who are in need.  All food donated will be given to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

Please click the button below and email us to let us know that you are coming, and tell us whether you plan to bring a main dish, side dish or dessert for the party.  This event is open to chapter members and spouses/partners/guests.  Click here for directions to green|spaces.

Coming in January 2016 - Mushrooms!
with Tradd Cotter from Mushroom Mountain in South Carolina

Soul Mates For Life: Native Plants and their Fungal Partners
Friday, January 8, 2016
6:00 - 7:00 pm

Join mushroom expert Tradd Cotter, mycologist and founder of Mushroom Mountain, for a fascinating lecture on native plants and their fungal partners. 

In order to sustain life on this planet, a complex matrix of organisms has evolved to orchestrate the balance. Plants and fungi have merged and continue to unveil the benefits of collaborating with nature. We have a lot to learn from these relationships, and understanding the respect they have for each other can teach us more than just soil biology. Our native plant communities are communicating through their own internet, reaching out to other organisms to help repair the ecosystems that perpetuate life on this planet.
Open to the public.
Lecture to be held at UTC; details provided at registration 

Mushroom Cultivation Workshop
Saturday, January 9, 2016
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Crabtree Farms

We're proud to partner with the Tennessee Aquarium to bring expert Tradd Cotter to Chattanooga for a workshop at Crabtree Farms.

You'll leave this half-day workshop understanding the best ways to cultivate delicious mushrooms at home or on your farm. This class will energize your efforts and maximize your production. Topics include: life cycle of fungi, woodland mushroom farming, indoor production and organic pest management.
Open to the public.
All Ages (with adult Supervision)
Limited to 30 participants

Celebrating the Bounty of Southeastern Gardens
March 5, 2016

Registration Now Available

Make a note on your calendar and make your reservation now!  Our fifth annual native plant symposium is scheduled for Saturday, March 5, 2016 at the UTC University Center Auditorium. 

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Larry Mellichamp, retired Professor of Botany and Horticulture at the University of North Carolina.  Larry is an expert on native trees and shrubs, and he is the author of several books, including The Winter Garden, Bizarre Botanicals, and Native Plants of the Southeast.  He is a most engaging speaker and will be giving two talks at the Symposium -- "Best Southeastern Natives for the Home Landscape" and "Bizarre Natives."

This year, we will have a variety of vendors and exhibitors, including native plant nurseries.  Speakers will have their books on hand, and you can have them signed at the Symposium.

Register early to get the member discount and the early registration discount.

For more info about the symposium, additional speakers and talks... 
and to register, 
click the buttons below.
Members' Dinner with the Symposium Speakers

All current Wild Ones Members are invited to a Pre-Symposium Dinner
with the Symposium Speakers - Larry Mellichamp, Ron Lance and Tony Glover.

Friday, March 4, 2016 at 5:30pm
212 Market Restaurant, 212 Market Street, Chattanooga TN 

The 3-course dinner, including drinks, is available for Wild Ones Members
and one partner/spouse/guest.  There will be plenty of time to visit with the speakers and  other Wild Ones members and to have books signed by the Symposium speakers.

Limited seating.  $50 per person.  Reservations required.

Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones
elects officers for 2016

At the Annual Meeting on November 14, 2015, the following slate of officers were nominated and approved:

Cheri Hubbard, President (2016)
Marti Owensby, Vice President (2015-17)
Beverly Inman-Ebel, Secretary (2015-2016)
Bill Moll, Treasurer (2016-17)
Karna Levitt, Member-at-Large (2015-16)
Daniel Talley, Member-at-Large (2016-17)
Lisa Lemza, Member-at-Large (2016-17)

The Chapter is deeply grateful for the dedicated (and continuing) contributions of those members rotating off the Board -- Dennis Bishop (2015 President), Juan Gonzalez (2014-15 Treasurer), Valarie Adams (2014-15 Member-at-Large), and Louise Gilley (Co-Chair, Public Information Committee).

In her role as VP, Marti Owensby will chair the Program Committee.  Lucy Scanlon will continue as Co-Chair of the Public Information Committee. Marcia Stevens and Nora Bernhardt will continue as Co-Chairs of the Membership Committee.  Dennis Bishop is chairing the 2016 Symposium Committee.  Beverly Inman-Ebel and Sally Wencel are co-chairing the Certificate in Native Plants Committee.  Additional Committee leaders will be announced in coming weeks.

The Tennessee Valley Chapter was established in June 2012 and is currently the fourth largest Wild Ones chapter in the country, with over 160 member households.


Monarchs get help from unlikely source:
California's drought

VISTA, Calif. (AP) - In California's drought, the struggling monarch butterfly may have found a sprinkling of hope.

Suburban homeowners ripping out thirsty lawns are dotting their new drought-tolerant landscapes with milkweed...[read more]


Who left all these twigs in the woods?
2015 is the year of girdled hickory

Ramble by David Haskell 11/3/15...

Coleopteran work crews are trimming the forest canopy. Their leavings are scattered all over the leaf litter, in a profusion that I've never seen. Next spring's hickory trees will therefore cast less shade and we'll see the beetles' legacy in a patchwork of sunlight. Canopy openings will admit more sky into the understory, fattening citrine spring-light with blues and reds... [read more]


Benefits of Leaf "Litter"

From The Cornell Lab  YardMap Network by Becca Rodomsky-Bish

Th ere is no waste in the natural world. Every part of every living and nonliving thing recycles into molecules that serve a purpose in ecosystems. Leaves are no exception.  [read more]

Photos from the Garden

As we approach the end of the year, we're sharing a group Mike O'Brien's beautiful photos of native plants (and a few pollinators).  Thanks to Mike, a member of the Tennessee Valley Chapter, for sharing his photos with us all year!

Winged Bark Elm
Sassafras Berries
Jack-O-Lantern fungus (Omphalotus illudens)
Goatsbeard (Aruncus)
Closeup of common milkweed flower (Asclepias syriaca)
Bumblebee on Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

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
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