Members' Holiday Social is next Monday!
Healing the earth, one yard at a time

December 2017 Newsletter

In this edition:


Members' Holiday Party - December 11, 2017
What is Sustainable Landscaping? - January 8, 2018
Wild Ones Book Club - January 20, 2018
Plant Natives 2018! - March 17, 2018


January - March 2018 Classes




"Species have the potential to sink or save the ecosystem, depending on the circumstances. 
Knowing that we must preserve ecosystems with as many of their interacting species as possible defines our challenge in no uncertain terms. It helps us to focus on the ecosystem as an integrated functioning unit, and it deemphasizes the conservation of single species. Surely this more comprehensive approach is the way to go."  
-- Doug Tallamy



Monday, December 11
6:00 pm
63 E. Main St., Chattanooga TN
FREE for all Wild Ones Members

Join us for the 2017 Holiday Social for the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones.  This event is free and open to Wild Ones members and family.  

Please bring an appetizer to share.  Beer, wine and other beverages will be provided.  

Instead of presents, please bring a can of food or cash/check donations for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

Please pre-register so we'll know how many people to expect.


Monday, January 8
6:00 pm
63 E. Main St., Chattanooga
FREE and open to the public

Choosing native plants is a good start, but what else can we do to responsibly manage land?
Join Lyn Rutherford, Landscape Inspector for the  City of Chattanooga, for an introduction to environmentally-friendly landscaping. 

Bring some tips to share!

Saturday, January 20
2:00 pm
4918 Marlow Drive, Red Bank TN
FREE for all Wild Ones Members

The Tennessee Valley Wild Ones Book Club's January book is Andrea Wulf's   Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nature.  Join us to discuss how the landscape design concepts of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Madison evolved to prefer native plants.  The discussion will be led by Ann Brown.  If you don't have a copy, put it on your Christmas wish list so that you will have time to read it before the 20th.  See you then!

March 17, 2018

Plant Natives 2018!  What's the Buzz? -- the sixth annual native plant symposium -- will be a great opportunity to learn about the types of native pollinators that visit our gardens and how we can foster all parts of their life cycles.  

The keynote speaker will be Heather Holm, author of Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide.

Be sure to mark your calendar!


We Need You!

Our committees are responsible for doing the planning, scheduling and organizing for most of our events and programs.  However, we would like to have a few additional volunteers to help with some selected tasks.   These roles do NOT require major time or meeting commitments,  but they would really help the chapter be more effective in getting the word out about the importance of using native plants.  We'd like to fill the following six roles:
  • Be a greeter, helping to welcome members and newcomers to our monthly 2nd Monday public meetings and speaker presentations.
  • Co-Chair our first Native Plant Garden Tour, open to the public in fall 2018.
  • Write press releases for selected events and send to media contacts (approximately 3-5 press releases per year).
  • Contact print and electronic media representatives to facilitate publicity for key events (e.g., annual symposium, major speakers) and to provide information about native plant gardening (e.g., local pollinator gardens and community initiatives). 
  • Send/post meeting and event announcements to local media, e.g., Chattanooga Now (estimate 1-2 hours/month).  
  • Assist with the chapter's Facebook page.  Post informative information about native plant gardening, pollinators, etc. on the chapter's Facebook page (4-6 posts per month).  Create Facebook events for upcoming chapter programs (2-3 events per month).
  • Assist in organizing Landscapes in Progress programs by contacting selected members and scheduling garden visits (2-3 member gardens for 3 Landscapes in Progress events each year).
If you're interested in volunteering for any of the above roles, please email Lena Hall, our Volunteer Coordinator.

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.

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

Class registration for early 2018 classes is currently open for:

Understanding Botanical Names
Instructor - John Manion
Saturday, January 13, 2018
9:00am - 12:00pm
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center

Invasive Plant Control
Instructor - John Evans
Saturday, February 10, 2018
9:00am - 12:00pm
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center

Native Plant Propagation Workshop - Seeds 
Instructor - John Evans
Saturday, March 10, 2018
9:00am - 12:00pm
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
Native Plant Propagation Workshop - Cuttings & Divisions
Instructor - John Evans
Saturday, March 10, 2018
1:00pm - 4:00pm
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center


Small Trees with Good Fall Color
Yards seem to be getting smaller so it stands to reason that folks might like some small tree recommendations and that is what this post is about. In some cases, large shrubs can work as well. Read more.

Big Trees Forest Preserve
Big Trees Forest Preserve is a 30-acre sanctuary in Sandy Springs, GA, north of Atlanta.  It was assembled beginning in 1990 to save some beautiful trees from nearby development. Large white oaks continue to be a major part of the canopy, but some of the red oaks are there as well. Sourwood is also very common, and several species of hickory join the beeches in providing yellow fall color.  Learn more.

Open Source Seeds
"We know about open-source software and hardware, but can the concept - decentralized development and open collaboration for the common good - be expanded to address other global challenges? 

The nonprofit  OpenSourceSeeds  based in the German town of Marburg has just  launched a licensing process  for open-source seeds, to create a new repository of genetic material that can be accessed by farmers around the world, in perpetuity."  Read more.

The fall colors were gorgeous this year.
Here are a few photos to enjoy...

Maple Leaf Viburnum
with a few photo special effects.
Photo by Mike O'Brien

Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Oak Leaf Hydrangea in fall maroon colors with artistic effect post-processed on iPhone 7 Plus. Leaf color is not altered; j ust a different look that really highlights the leaf structure.  Photo by Mike O'Brien.

Hydrangea quercifolia ( Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Fothergilla (Witch Alder)


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