Certificate in Native Plant classes begin in July
Healing the earth, one yard at a time

June 2016 Newsletter

In this edition:

Pollinator Rally - Saturday, June 11
Member Picnic - Saturday, June 25
Summer Landscapes in Progress - Saturday, July 23

Saturday, July 9
Saturday, August 13
Saturday, September 10
Saturday, October 8
Saturday, November 12









Pollinator Rally
Saturday, June 11

Saturday, June 11 - 8:30am - 12:30pm
Grace Episcopal Church, 20 Belvoir Ave., Chattanooga TN 37411
FREE and open to the public

Sponsored by the the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Chattanooga Area Landscape Professionals (CALP), and Grace Episcopal Church

9:00am - 12:30pm:  Speakers in the Parish Hall.
Topics include:
"Native Pollinators"
"Pollinator Decline and Role of Pesticides"
"Honeybee keepers' Plants for Nectar and Pollen in Tennessee"
"Ruby Throated Hummingbirds."

Outdoor class on "How to Plant a Pollinator Garden" using Grace Butterfly Gardens.

Native plant sales from Reflection Riding, Trailhead Nursery, and Belvoir Gardens.

Free seeds and plants in the Pavilion.

Concurrent with the Brainerd Farmers Market: 10:00am - 12:00pm

Click HERE for more info.

Members' Summer Picnic
at Reflection Riding

Saturday, June 25, 2016 --  10:30am - 1:30pm
Wild Ones and family members ONLY
Join other Wild Ones members for a fun day together.  We'll gather at the picnic tables near the Butterfly Garden, at the back of the Visitor Center at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center.  The day will start with a short, guided walk on the property led by Wild Ones member Lyn Rutherford, followed by a casual picnic lunch together.

Bring  your family.  Bring your chairs.  Bring a sandwich.  Wild Ones will provide chips and other side dishes, drink and ice.  The event is FREE.

So that we can anticipate how many people we'll have, please click the button below to register.

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 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.  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.

Here are a few bits of wisdom from our Spring Landscapes in Progress:

"Native plants can't read.  They may do well, no matter the conditions.  A swamp sunflower is thriving in a dry place nowhere near anything like a swamp."

"Humans are perennials but that doesn't mean we live forever.  Perennial plants also do not live forever, so don't be surprised when they die."

"If you're clearing non-native invasives in a new area, wait a bit before planting -- what comes up there may surprise and delight you."

Interested in deepening your understanding of native plants, or learning about ecological horticulture, sustainable landscape design, or maybe nature journaling or even basic botany? If so, take a look at the new courses offered through the Certificate in Native Plants (CNP).

You're welcome to sign up for classes if you want to work toward certification (which involves a volunteer component as well as coursework)  or if you just want to take some of the classes for fun. CNP classes offer a blend of classroom instruction, hands-on learning and guided hikes.

Class registration is currently open for:

Nature Journaling & Sketching with Mary Priestley
Saturday, July 9

Pollinators 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

All of these classes will take place at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center in Chattanooga.  More classes will be announced for 2017.

The Certificate in Native Plants program was originally launched in 2013, inspired by established programs like that of the New England Wildflower Society and newer programs that had popped up at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the University of Georgia.  Last year, the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones assumed management responsibility for the program, and classes will restart in July 2016. 

The CNP represents a partnership between three native plant education and conservation non-profit organizations: Wild Ones Tennessee Valley Chapter, Tennessee Native Plant Society, and Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center. Members of these organizations will receive discounts on class fees.


for NEW Wild Ones Members

Not a member of Wild Ones?  
Interested in having a garden with native plants to attract pollinators?

Here's a special incentive to join....

Join the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones 
at the
Pollinator Rally on Saturday, June 11th 
at the  Wild Ones Day at Trailhead Nursery on Saturday, June 18th 

and receive 
2 FREE plugs or 1 FREE quart size pollinator plant
(a $6 value)

See articles elsewhere in this newsletter for event details.

Wild Ones memberships are only $37
and include many additional benefits:

FREE members-only programs throughout the year
Landscapes in Progress
Guided Hikes and Overnight Field Trips
Summer Picnic, Annual Meeting and Members' Holiday Social

$10 discount at the annual native plant symposium

Discounts on plants at Trailhead Nursery
and Overhill Gardens Native Plant Nursery

This offer is valid only for NEW memberships 
in the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones 
that are purchased at the two events noted above.
Free pollinator plants include Cardinal Flower, 
Blue Baptisia,  Orange Coneflower and Anise Hyssop
while supplies last.


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.


New Wildflower Book Released

Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Georgia and Surrounding States is the first field guide devoted exclusively to Georgia's wildflowers, while also including a large number of plants found in neighboring states. Organized in a clear and logical way, botanist Linda G. Chafin's guide is both scientific and accessible to those who aren't professional botanists. The guide includes nontechnical species descriptions and comparisons with similar plants, information on the habitats and natural communities that support Georgia's wildflowers, and suggestions for the best places and times to see wildflowers. The guide includes descriptions of the wildflowers found in forests, woodlands, and wetlands, as well as those growing along roadsides that are often dismissed as "weeds" but may first attract the attention of budding naturalists.  The book features:

  • A large set of 750 thumbnail photographs to identify plants by flower color
  • Detailed descriptions for 770 of the most common wildflowers found in Georgia and throughout most of the Southeast, as well as additional information for 530 "similar to" species
  • Descriptions of the natural communities in Georgia where wildflowers may easily be seen
  • An alphabetical arrangement by plant family, with each plant family broken down alphabetically by genus and species
  • A guide to the pronounciation of scientific names
  • Lightweight and sturdy enough for the field but inclusive enough for the reference shelf
  • 90% or more of the species in this guide occur in Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina
  • 80% or more of the species in this guide occur in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia


Native Plant Symposium Planning Committee

The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones is starting to make plans for Plant Natives 2017, the sixth annual native plant symposium in early 2017.  All interested Wild Ones members (and spouses/partners too) are invited to get involved by joining the Symposium Planning Committee.  This is a great way to meet other members and have a lot of fun together...and joining the Symposium Committee is how many of our members first got involved in the chapter.

You can help out in a variety of ways -- selecting the speakers, making arrangements for the facility, planning for the exhibits and vendors, helping with registration, assisting with marketing, and much more.  You can volunteer as much or as little time as you have available.

The first meeting of the Committee will be on Monday, June 20 at 6:00pm at green|spaces, 63 E. Main Street in Chattanooga.  For more information, email Bill Moll, 2017 Symposium Chairperson.

Reflection Riding Native Plant Greenhouse

John Evans has joined Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center as the Native Plant Greenhouse Manager.  You may remember John as one of the leaders of our Four Seasons Hikes last year.  

If you're interested in volunteering, please email John.  It's a great way to get greenhouse experience and help Reflection Riding get ready for the fall plant sale.

Trailhead Nursery
June 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, June 18, 2016, 10 am - 1 pm (EDT) Open Hours for Wild Ones members

Saturday, June 25, 2016, 10 am - 2 pm (EDT) Open Hours at the nursery.

Wild Ones members receive a 10% discount 
on plants purchased at Trailhead Nursery.

Trailhead Nursery will be closed during July and August.
For more info about the Trailhead Nursery, click HERE.


Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) 
Looking for a shrub to complete your garden?  Try Oakleaf hydrangea, the Alabama state wildflower.  The native Oakleaf hydrangea will grow to about 6 or 8 feet tall and has leathery type leaves and an open white flower. It grows best in a natural or landscaped woodland habitat, preferring partial to almost full shade, with morning sun and afternoon shade as optimal. It will tolerate drought, but may not flower. Hydrangea quercifolia is an understory shrub, often in the shade of large oaks, hickories, magnolias, American beech, etc.  Flowers age in colour from creamy white, aging to pink and by autumn and winter are a dry, papery rusty-brown. Fresh or dry, the blossoms of Hydrangea quercifolia are attractive as cut flowers.

Smooth or Wild Hydrangea 
(Hydrangea arborescens)
Hydrangea arborescens is a loosely and widely branched deciduous shrub that typically grows to 3-6' tall. It is native to moist or rocky wooded slopes, ravines, streambanks and bluff bases from New York to Florida west to Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Gray-brown stems are clad with opposite, broad egg-shaped to rounded, sharply toothed, dark green leaves (2-6" long) with pale green undersides. Leaves turn yellow in fall. Tiny white fertile flowers bloom in May-July in flattened hairy clusters (corymbs to 2-6" across). Scattered continuing flowering may occur throughout summer to September. The g enus name comes from hydor meaning water and aggeion meaning vessel in reference to the cup-like capsular fruit.  

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
This bushy, 1 1/2-2 ft. perennial is prized for its large, flat-topped clusters of bright-orange flowers.  The yellow-orange to bright orange flower clusters, 2-5" across, are at the top of the flowering stem. The abundance of stiff, lance-shaped foliage provides a dark-green backdrop for the showy flowerheads. This plant favors dry, sand or gravel soil, but has also been reported on stream margins. It requires full sun. It is commonly known as butterfly weed because of the butterflies that are attracted to the plant by its color and its copious production of nectar.  It is also the larval food plant of the Queen and Monarch butterflies.  Hummingbirds, bees and other insects are also attracted. Its tough root was chewed by First Nations People as a cure for pleurisy and other pulmonary ailments, explaining its other common name, pleurisy root.


Photos from the Field

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

Female bluebird and hungry juvenile bluebird.
Note the mottled feathers on the juvenile's chest.
Male (on right, with red color on head), and female (left)
Hairy Woodpeckers  on white oak tree.

How to tell Hairy from Downy Woodpeckers? The Downy's bill is dainty and about one-third the length of the bird's head. The Hairy's bill is a railroad spike in comparison, and almost as long as the its head.  The Downy is a little over six" tall, while the Hairy is about 50% taller (~ 8-9" tall).  The Downy Woodpecker is much more abundant than its Hairy counterpart, especially in suburbia. The Hairy prefers towering trees and deeper woods.

Indian Pink ( Spigelia marilandica)


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