Only a few spaces left for July 23 "Landscapes in Progress"
Healing the earth, one yard at a time

July 2016 Newsletter

In this edition:

Nature Journaling & Sketching - Saturday, July 9
Summer Landscapes in Progress - Saturday, July 23
Pollinators - Saturday, August 13








with Ann Brown

Saturday, August 13, 2016
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center

This class will explore the importance of native pollinators and how their decline is a threat to our health and wellbeing. Special emphasis will be placed on what gardeners can do in their yards and communities to reverse this disturbing trend of pollinator decline.  The class will include a walking tour of different pollinator habitats.
By the end of the workshop, participants will:
  • Understand the two types of pollination, abiotic and biotic.
  • Recognize animal pollinators, including the difference between honey bees and native bees.
  • Understand the environmental benefits of animal pollination.
  • Understand why animal pollinators are in decline with special emphasis on native pollinators such as bees and the Monarch butterfly.
  • Understand "Pollinator Friendly Practices."
  • Understand the importance of planting "Native Pollinator Gardens.
This is an elective class for the Certificate in Native Plants and is open to the public. Members of Wild Ones, Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center and the Tennessee Native Plant Society receive a class discount.
Register for "Pollinators"


Saturday, July 23, 2016 --  9:00 am - 2:00 pm
The Summer Landscapes in Progress tour is on Saturday July 23, 2016.  Three members of the Tennessee Valley Wild Ones -- Louise Russell, Marcia & Gary Stevens, Nora & Bob Bernhardt -- will open their home gardens on Signal Mountain to a small group of members.  This is  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 with the hope of becoming better gardeners.
Registration is FREE and limited to 20 members for this summer's  Landscapes in Progress. Sign up now to ensure your slot.  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 Fall Landscapes in Progress tour on Saturday, September 17, 2016.  Registration for this program will be available later this summer.

Registration is currently open for the following classes:

Nature Journaling & Sketching
 with Mary Priestley
Saturday, July 9

 with Ann Brown
Saturday, August 13

Plant Form & Function I
 with Richard Clements & Mary Priestley
Saturday, September 10

Plant Form & Function II 
with Richard Clements & Mary Priestley
Saturday, October 8

Class registration will be open soon for:

Soil & Water with Wyn Miller
Saturday, November 12


Nominations for 2017 Landscape Conservation Award/
Certificate of Appreciation Award

The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones recognizes individuals or organizations whose exemplary use of native plants demonstrate the mission of Wild Ones: t o promote environmentally sound landscaping practices which preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities.
Nominations are now open for the 2017 Landscape Conservation Award / Certificate of Appreciation Award.  

Award Criteria:
1. To recognize individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to the cause of native plant and habitat conservation.
2. To provide a means of publicly acknowledging such efforts.
3. To further the mission of promoting environmentally sound landscaping practices through public education.

Nominations will be accepted until September 1, 2016.  The 2017 Landscape Award will be presented at the Tennessee Valley Wild Ones Annual Native Plant Symposium in early 2017.


Reflection Riding Milkweed Planting Day
Wednesday, July 6th

Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center 
needs volunteers to plant 500 milkweed plants recently received from a NRDC grant through Monarch Watch.  The plants arrived yesterday and we are hoping to get them in the ground via a planting bee  Wednesday July 6th from 9am - 12.30pm.

Click HERE for more info about the Milkweed Planting Bee.   Hope to see you Wednesday with your trowel and gardening gloves.


The southern Appalachian Mountains Region one of the most biologically diverse regions in the temperate world (although there are many more species per unit area of land in the tropics). Biodiversity is extremely high in terms of both the variety of different species and the abundance of each species. Nearly 10,000 species are already known to exist here, with more discovered each year-some of which are new to science!

Some kinds of organisms, such as salamanders and fungi, reach their highest levels of diversity in the Southern Appalachians. Other diverse groups include trees, mosses, millipedes, spiders, moths, beetles, and snails. Many of these species are endemic to this region, found here and nowhere else in the world.

More than 100 native trees, 1,400 other flowering plants, and 500 moss and fern species are found in the Southern Appalachians. Nearly 60 kinds of trees and shrubs may grow in diverse cove hardwood forests. Spruce-fir forests occur at elevations above 5000 feet, northern hardwood and pine-oak forests occur at lower elevations, and hemlock forests occupy moist, streamside habitats.

The southern Appalachian Mountains are also famous for their high diversity of fungi. Mushrooms, molds, and sac fungi thrive in the wet mountain environments. Nearly 2,300 species have already been identified, but scientists estimate that there may be as many as 20,000.

More species of salamanders exist in the southern Appalachian Mountains than anywhere else in the world, and nowhere are they more abundant. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone has 30 species, and many more occur in other parts of western North Carolina and Tennessee.

Information from the Highlands Biological Station

Red Bank Elementary Launching Forest Kindergarten.

While outside, students will build social and communication skills, further develop gross and fine motor skills, engage in spontaneous STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math), learning and have the opportunity to explore creative expression.  Read more...

A World of  Solutions .

Directed by Louie Schwartzberg and narrated by Morgan Freeman, this short video shows the beauty and natural violence of millions of years of evolution and the impact of humans on this complex system in less than 200 years. However, while we are still in peril, we have the means to solve our problems in the present.  Watch...

3 Ways to Revel in Summer Garden Sweetness.

Summer is finally here. Every morning, before sunrise, the tree canopy ripples in birdcalls. Dew speckles grasses and flowers, each plant cascading in sparkles as the sun crests the fence. A red admiral butterfly dances in seemingly erratic patterns as it follows the spindly trail of a flower's scent all the way to the source - an early coneflower.  Read more...

Special Concerns about Drought Conditions
(from the Trailhead Nursery)

Many parts of the Cumberland Plateau and surrounding regions are in a moderate to severe drought with no relief in sight.  Wildlife is under severe stress as food and water becoming scarcer, including pollinators.  More than ever, we need to help out by providing nectar, pollen and water in our landscapes.

There are many native perennials and grasses that tolerate hot, dry weather, including flowering perennials and milkweeds like Butterfly Milkweed (pictured above).  Drought tolerant Sunflowers, Coneflowers, Black-eyed Susans, and many native grasses are an important food source for seed-eaters like Finches.  While it's challenging to install new plantings, it's not impossible with some regular watering until the new plants become established.  Trees are an important resource for wildlife (and people, too!), providing food and shelter, so don't forget to water your trees as well during the drought!

It is also important to put out water for wildlife .  Many birds, butterflies and bees need shallow water sources.  Your water station will also attract other beneficial wildlife like insect-eating frogs, toads, and even lizards.  Just remember to regularly replace the water to remove mosquito larvae.

Photography Contest

The Arts at Erlanger committee and Erlanger East Hospital are hosting a photography contest to provide unique imagery for the $50 million expansion project at Erlanger East Hospital. Selected artwork will be used to further enhance the d├ęcor of the new patient tower, lobbies and hallways.  In addition, images for several other Erlanger projects will be selected from the contest entries.  Closing date is July 31.  Click HERE for info.

Photos from the Field

American Lady on Coneflower
(Photo by Mike O'Brien)

Carolina Satyr on Purple Cone Flower
(Photo by Mike O'Brien)

Reclining St. Andrew's Cross (Hypericum stragulum)
(Photo by Mike O'Brien)
This low shrub is found in dry woods.  The four narrow petals of the bright yellow flowers form a cross.

Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly
(Photo by Mike O'Brien)

Rose Pogonia (Pogonia ophioglossoides)
(Photo by Terri Joyce on Wild Ones May 31 hike)
Also called Snakemouth Orchid, this  is a species of  orchid  occurring from  central Canada  to the east-central and eastern  United States .  It is pollinated by bees and  occurs in wet habitats.

Slender Blue Flag Iris (Iris prismatica)
(Photo by Terri Joyce on Wild Ones May 31 hike)
Iris prismatica  is a perennial herb spreading by means of  rhizomes  that are close to the surface of the soil.  It tends to grow in wet areas and is currently listed as threatened in Tennessee.

Grass Pink (Calopogan tuberosus)
(Photo by Terri Joyce on Wild Ones May 31 hike)
Grass Pink is a terrestrial orchid.  The generic name Calopogan  means "beautiful beard."


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