Lots of opportunities to learn more about native plant gardening!
Healing the earth, one yard at a time

May 2018 Newsletter
In this edition:

Sunflowers and Relatives with Dr. Ed Schilling - May 14
Landscapes in Progress - May 19
Roundtable Discussion: Books about Native Plants - May 21
Mark These Dates On Your Calendar



Application Now Available

2018 Classes through November







Photos above: Rhododendron calendulaceum (Flame Azalea),
Spigelia marilandica  (Indian Pink), Viburnum acerfolium (Mapleleaf Viburnum)

Sunflowers & Relatives


Welcome to the Wild Store

Exciting products await, including infant and youth clothing, a fun new selection of hats, a butterfly garden banner, hoodies, and even a ladies' fleece!  Of course, old favorites such as the ladies v-neck logo tees, yard signs,  " Roots apparel, and books are still available.

The new store is better integrated with the Wild Ones national website, so merchandise and memberships can all be purchased at once. 

Instead of adding the shipping cost to each individual item, the store now adds a postage and handling fee per order - saving you money, because adding an item shouldn't add a whole new shipping and handling charge. Shoppers pay the true cost of postage, and only one handling fee per order, no matter how large. 

Grab a terry-lined ladies' visor! Splurge on that onesie or t-shirt for your grandchild! Your postage won't change much, and you won't incur an additional handling fee.

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 evaluate 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 is now open for all 2018 classes:

Instructor: Mary Priestley
Saturday, May 12, 2018
9 am - Noon EDT
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center

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

Identifying Plants with Taxonomy: "The Keys to the Kingdom"
Instructor: Richard Clements
Saturday, August 11, 2018
9 am - Noon EDT
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center

Native Warm Season Grasses
Instructor: Walter Bland
Saturday, October 13, 2018
9 am- 12 pm (EDT)
Sixth Cavalry Museum and Chickamauga Military Park
Fort Oglethorpe GA

Soils & Water
Instructor: Wyn Miller
Saturday, November 10, 2018
9 am - 4 pm EST
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center


May 4 & 17, 2018
North American Butterfly Association 
Butterfly Counts in our area

May 5, 2018
Night Song Nursery Open House
1095 Epperson Rd, Canton, GA 30115

May 8-12, 2018
Wilderness Wildlife Week
FREE at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge TN
Visit Booth 46 for the Native Plant Sales Boutique

May 19, 2018
Native Plant Symposium at Southern Highlands Reserve
Lake Toxaway, NC

May 20, 2018, 1-4pm
Bee City USA Pollinator Festival
Lookout Mountain Elementary School, 321 N. Bragg Ave., Lookout Mountain TN

Note: Some of the dates listed above are for members only of the respective organization.  Please confirm details before you plan travel.


Gardening tips from the April Landscapes in Progress program...

From Martha & Kemmer Anderson's garden:
  • Gaillardia (Blanket Flower) is hardy, beautiful and great pollinator plant.
  • Martha recommended using Floating Row Cover from Gardens Alive early in the growing season to cover vegetables. It allows the water and sun to filter through. She said that she had lettuce all winter growing under the row cover.
From Kristina & Jason Shaneyfelt's garden:
  • One of the many ground covers that they use is Silene carolinina (Wild Pink). It is short and sweet with lovely pink flowers. Antennaria plantaginifolia (Plantainleaf Pussytoes) is another very good ground cover, as is Lysimachia lanceolata (Lanceleaf Loosestrife) another native.
  • Purple Phlox stolonifera (Phlox Sherwood), Neviusia alabamensis (Alabama snow-wreath) and Hypericum prolificum (Shrubby St.- John's- Wort) were also recommended.
  • Phlox amoena (Hairy Phlox) spreads well on a slope.
  • Rhus aromatic (Fragrant Sumac) is good to use for erosion control on a slope.
From Lisa Lemza & Mike Shillinger's garden:
  • Plant Boneset, Wild Quinine, and Roundleaf Thoroughwort to produce continuous blooms for pollinators.
  • Lisa feels that Fothergilla is an underutilized shrub.
  • She emphasized that planting blooming plants close to the road had attracted the interest of people passing by who stopped to look and opened the door to a conversation about the benefits of native plants.


Stop to smell the flowers, and listen to the bees.
Read the Times Free Press April 29th editorial about the importance of pollinators.

Supporting Hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds come back ... from their winter homes in Central America. Long before humans came along with sugar water feeders, the birds relied on the blooms of native plants. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the plants open up about the time that the birds are returning. Read more.

EU Agrees on Total Ban on Pesticides That Harm Bees.
The European Union has agreed to ban the world's most widely used pesticides because of the harm scientists say they cause to bees. The ban on the insecticides known as neonicotinoids was jointly approved by the 28 member nations Friday and is expected to come into force within six months. It strengthens an existing EU ban on the use of neonicotinoids on flowering crops... Read more.

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 all of the community events during the spring, 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.

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


Spring is here!
Enjoy a few photos of what's been happening outdoors during April.

Common Sootywing Butterfly on Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane).
Photo by Mike O'Brien.

White Slant-Line Geometer Moth (Tetracis cachexiata)
Mike O'Brien spotted this beautiful moth (1.5" across) on his morning walk, just perched on grass.  It was starkly white with a single orange postmedial band that is more striking because this is a male moth. I referred it to Dr. James Adams, moth expert and Professor of Biology at Dalton State College, who kindly and quickly helped with the specific identification.
Photo by Mike O'Brien.
Willow Sawfly larvae, a stingless wasp species (Nematus ventralis).
Several weeks ago, Mike found this striking caterpillar in abundance on young shoots of willow trees. Mike's caterpillar reference books did not help him ID them, but Willowpedia on the Cornell University website did ID them.  They can be differentiated from caterpillars of moths and butterflies which have 5 or fewer pairs of prolegs, whereas this species has 5 or more pairs of prolegs (7-8 pairs). Moth, butterfly and sawfly caterpillars have 3 pairs of true legs in the front. When disturbed they raise their tail end in a defensive S-shaped posture. They are often preyed upon by Paper Wasps. The largest ones were about one inch long in this stage of their development. The lesson is this: not every caterpillar you see is a moth or butterfly species.
Photo by Mike O'Brien.
Calycanthus floridus (Sweetshrub or Carolina Allspice).
Shade to sun; best in 5-6 hours of sun; moist, rich soil; prune after flowering; will form a colony over time via suckers. 'Athens' cultivar available in nurseries which has chartreuse flower with a lemon-lime scent.
Photo by Mike O'Brien.
Viburnum rufidulum (Rusty Blackhaw).
Viburnum rufidulum  blooms in April to May with creamy white flowers that are  bisexual, or perfect  and similar to those of other  Viburnum  species, but with clusters as large as six inches wide.
Photo by Mike O'Brien.
Stylophorum diphyllum (Celandine Poppy) blossom emerging from hairy bud.
Brilliant yellow flowers bloom in spring atop blue-green, pinnately lobed foliage. Leaf underside has a silvery cast. An easy to grow native that will self sow and form a dense shade groundcover. Tolerates all but the driest conditions. Beautiful with Virginia Bluebells, Columbine, Goats Beard, Wild Ginger and Woodland Phlox.
Photo by Nora Bernhardt.

Polystichum acrostichoides fronds unfurling ( Christmas fern).
It is one of the most common ferns in eastern North America, being found in moist and shady habitats in woodlands, rocky slopes, and stream banks. The common name derives from the  evergreen  fronds which are often still green at  Christmas  in December.
Photo by Nora Bernhardt.


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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 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