Plant Natives 2018 Symposium, Early Registration Discount Ends Soon
Healing the earth, one yard at a time

March 2018 Newsletter
In this edition:

PLANT NATIVES 2018!  What's the Buzz?

2 Friday Seminars

Symposium-Eve Dinner with the Speakers 

All-Day Saturday Symposium 

Saturday Native Plant Marketplace & Expo 



Application Now Available

May & June 2018 Classes

Gardening for Birds - March 24
Crabtree Farms Plant Sale - Pollinator Rally - April 8
Trails & Trilliums - April 13-15
Hamilton Cty. Master Gardeners Garden Expo - April 14-15
Reflection Riding Spring Plant Sale - April 19-21
Bradley Cty. Master Gardeners Spring Forward - April 21




"A variety of pollinators are responsible for pollinating the vast majority of North America's angiosperms (flowering plants) and approximately one-third of food crops.  As a group, bees provide pollination services better than any other type of insect.  They excel in collecting pollen in part due to the branched hairs that cover their bodies, an adaptation unique to bees. "  --  Heather Holm


Plant Natives 2018!  What's the Buzz? -- t he seventh annual native plant symposium and seminar weekend -- 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.  

Featured speakers include:
  • Heather Holm, author of Pollinators of Native Plants and Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide
  • Phyllis Stiles, Founder and Executive Director of Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA
  • Carol ReeseResearch Horticulture Specialist at UT's West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center
Join us for any or ALL of the weekend events:
  • Friday, March 16th.  Two seminars will add depth and detail to the Symposium experience:
    • Morning Seminar: Why and How America's Cities & Campuses are Becoming PC (Pollinator Conscious), with Phyllis Stiles
    • Afternoon Seminar: Designing & Managing Landscapes for Native Bees, with Heather Holm [SOLD OUT]
  • Saturday, March 17th.  
    • All-Day Symposium, featuring Heather Holm, Phyllis Stiles and Carol Reese.  Lunch is included in the ticket price.
    • Native Plant Marketplace and Expo will be free and open to the public from 8:00am - 4:30pm.  Four nurseries - Carolina Wild, Tennessee Naturescapes, Gardens of the Blue Ridge, and Night Song Native Plant Nursery - will have native plants for sale.  Bees on a Bicycle will have indoor and outdoor garden items.  Ron Van Dyke will be selling his garden art in stone and recycled metal.  Botanical artists Linda Fraser and Greg Haynes will have artwork, notecards and other items. Heather Holm's books will be available for signing. You can also browse various related exhibitions by local organizations.

Register now!  
Early registration discount available for the Symposium!
Wild Ones members save $$ on ALL tickets.

All events will be held in the Auditorium at the UTC University Center, 
642 E. 5th Street, Chattanooga TN.
the Brochure

Volunteer to Help!

100% of the programs, events and activities of the Tennessee Valley Chapter are planned, organized and coordinated by volunteers.  We have no paid staff, so we truly count on the generosity of our members and community volunteers.  

With the upcoming Symposium and all of the community events in April, we need volunteers to help us out.  You don't need any experience to volunteer, and your support will help get the word out about the benefits of landscaping with native plants.  It's also a great way to meet other like-minded people, and if you're participating in the Certificate in Native Plants Program, you can count your time toward the volunteer requirements.

For the Symposium, we need volunteers to help with set-up, greeting and directing guests, distributing lunches, and more.

We also need volunteers to staff our Wild Ones information tables at the following community events: Master Gardeners of Hamilton County Garden Expo, Crabtree Farms Spring Plant Sale, Reflection Riding Spring Plant Sale, Master Gardeners of Bradley County S pring Forward, and the Bee City USA Pollinator Festival.

Please click the button below and be generous with your time for one or more events.  We thank you for your valuable time!

Seeds for Education Grants
Is your school located in the Chattanooga metropolitan area and would you like to:
  • Attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators to your schoolyard with wildflowers and native grasses.
  • Add opportunities for hands-on science in biology, ecology and earth science.
  • Expose students to healthy, outdoor physical activity.
  • Reduce energy consumption and improve storm water management; enhance sustainability and green-school certification.
Teachers and students across the United States are expanding learning opportunities by  enhancing their schoolyards with butterfly gardens and other pollinator habitats. 

CHAPP and Wild Ones offer assistance for all aspects of such projects.  Cash grants of up to $500 are available for plants and seeds , and in-kind donations from Nursery Partners  can help stretch these dollars. We can help you locate experts and information in the Chattanooga area.  

Go to our  SFE Criteria page  to read how we will evaluation an application

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:

Spring Wildflower Hike
The April hike is SOLD OUT

Introduction to Botanical Drawing
Instructor - Mary Priestley
Saturday, May 12, 2018
9:00am - 12:00pm
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center

Native Plant Communities
Instructor - Jon Evans, PhD
Saturday, June 9, 2018
9:00am - 4:00pm CDT
University of the South, Sewanee TN

Landscaping for Birds
with Sally Wencel

Presented by EarthCare

March 24, 10:00am - 2:00pm
City of Chattanooga's Greenway Farm

Register Early!   Space is limited.

Community & Regional Events

The Tennessee Valley Chapter Wild Ones website always features information about other upcoming local and regional events and native plant sales.  With spring coming, there's quite a list of local and regional events on the calendar.

A listing is found on the "Community & Regional Events" page, and a monthly "Calendar" shows everything that's happening in a calendar format.  Both of these webpages are found on the drop-down menu under "Programs" on our website:

Total ban on bee-harming pesticides likely  after major new EU analysis
The world's most widely used insecticides pose a serious dang er  t o b oth honeybees and wild bees, according to a major new assessment from the European Union's scientific risk assessors.   The conclusion, based on a nalysis of more than 1,500 studies, makes it highly likely that the neonicotinoid pesticides will be banned from all fields across the EU when nations vote on the issue next month.  Read more.

New Global Study: Wildlife-Harming 
Neonicotinoid Pesticides
Generally Fail to Increase Crop Yields
The widespread use of wildlife-harming neonicotinoid pesticides is failing to deliver promised benefits to agricultural production, according to a study published recently in the academic journal Environmental Science and Pollution ResearchRead more.

Garden Design for Wildlife and Less Work
There are three primary layers in a natural landscape: the ground cover, or matrix; plants with seasonal interest (spring bulbs, summer showstoppers, fall finales); and architectural specimens (a shrub, tree or tall perennial). Each plays an important role aesthetically and ecologically. When we emulate nature by using these layers in our gardens, we not only benefit local wildlife, but we create a more interesting garden that requires less maintenance.  Read more.

Landscaping with a Purpose - What's Diversity Got To Do with It?
By using native plants we are attempting to recreate functioning ecosystems. To do that, we need diversity! Yet we use only a tiny fraction of the plants at our disposal when we plant or enhance our gardens, fields, and forests. In doing so, we hamper the ability of those ecosystems to function well. The more plant diversity we employ, the greater diversity of insects we will have in that ecosystem.  Read more.

'One in a Million' Yellow Cardinal 
Spotted in Alabama
An extremely rare cardinal has birders and biologists flocking to Shelby County, Alabama, as images of a yellow cardinal have circulated around social media. Auburn University biology professor Geoffrey Hill said the cardinal in the photos is an adult male in the same species as the common red cardinal, but carries a genetic mutation that causes what would normally be brilliant red feathers to be bright yellow instead.  Read more.


Spring is coming, so Wild Ones members 
have been outside appreciating what's happening.
Here are a few photos for you to enjoy!

Over-Wintered Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Over-Wintered Mourning Cloak Butterfly.
This is a deep woods butterfly that does not usually nectar on flowers, but rather on sap and decaying leaf debris. It can be seen in sunny areas, on warm spring days, basking on the ground or on tree trunks at the interface between the woods and open areas. Note tattered edges of the hindwing tail area indicating an older butterfly that has survived the Winter under leaf or brush piles. In flight, the dark wings with the trailing cream-colored edges, and its soft, fluttering, but direct and quick flight pattern are a telltale sign for this medium to large butterfly.
Photo by Mike O'Brien.

The small, bell-shaped over-wintering egg sac of the Native Carolina Praying Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) found recently on vegetation.  It is approximately the diameter of a quarter; the sac of the larger sized, non-native Chinese Mantis is much larger - several inches long, with an oval-globular shape. Note the faint, horizontal layers, each containing many individual egg containing cells in a honeycomb-like arrangement.
Photo by Mike O'Brien.

Tiny flowers on the Red Maple tree (Acer rubrum).
Red maple is one of the best named of all trees, featuring something red
in each of the seasons -- buds in winter, flowers in spring, leafstalks in summer, and brilliant foliage in autumn. This pageant of color, along with
the red maple's relatively fast growth and tolerance to a wide range of soils, makes it a widely planted favorite.

Photo by Mike O'Brien.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
is a perennial, herbaceous flowering plant native to eastern North America.
Bloodroot grows from 8-20" tall. It has one large basal leaf, up to 5" across, with five to nine lobes. The leaves and flowers sprout from a reddish rhizome with bright orange sap that grows at or slightly below the soil surface. The rhizomes grow longer each year, and branch to form colonies. Plants start to bloom before the foliage unfolds in early spring. After blooming the leaves expand to their full size and go summer dormant in mid to late summer.
Photo by Nora Bernhardt.

Virginia Bluebells, buds not yet opened.
Mertensia virginica is a spring ephemeral plant native to eastern North America that occurs statewide in moist, rich woods and river floodplains. It is an erect, clump-forming perennial which grows 1-2' tall and features loose, terminal clusters of pendulous, trumpet-shaped, blue flowers (to 1" long) which bloom in early spring. Flower buds are pink and flowers emerge with a pinkish cast before turning blue. Smooth, oval, bluish green leaves (to 4" long). Foliage dies to the ground by mid-summer as the plant goes dormant.
Photo by Nora Bernhardt.


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