September 2020 Newsletter
Healing the earth, one yard at a time.
Dear Wild Ones Members, Friends and Supporters,

September has officially arrived, and that means it's almost time to start planting again! To make sure that you have a great choice of native plants, be sure to mark Saturday, September 12th and our Fall Native Plant Sale on your calendar. On that day, you'll be able to choose native plants from SEVEN different regional native plant nurseries that will be visiting Chattanooga. Read more below.

Also, be sure to register for the special FREE WEBINAR that we're presenting on Monday, September 14th. The featured speaker is Nancy Lawson, author of 'The Humane Gardener.' Nancy's talk will definitely make you think about your garden in new and fascinating ways!

As always, we look forward to seeing you, whether it's in person or online!

Upcoming Programs & Events
Fall Native Plant Sale!
Saturday, September 12, 2020
9:00am - 3:00pm (Eastern DST)
Grace Episcopal Church parking lot
20 Belvoir Ave., Chattanooga TN

Since we had to cancel our spring Symposium and Native Plant Marketplace, we're inviting regional native plant nurseries to return to Chattanooga in an outdoor setting to sell a wide variety of native plants to our community.

The fall native plant sale will be outdoors, and masks are required. Admission is free.

Come with your shopping list and purchase native plants from SEVEN regional native plant nurseries: 
Tennessee Naturescapes
Carolina Wild
Reflection Riding
Night Song
Overhill Gardens
Native Plant Rescue Squad
Thomas Nursery

Lunch & Learn:
Is Your Yard Watershed Ready?
Wednesday, September 9
12:00 noon - 1:00pm (Eastern DST)
FREE Online event
with Lyn Rutherford and Mary Beth Sutton
Co-sponsored by green|spaces, WaterWays and the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones.

The fall is a perfect time to get your yard in shape and this Lunch & Learn is all about helping you to do so in a way that supports clean and healthy waterways!

Our speakers, Mary Beth Sutton, Founder of WaterWays and Lyn Rutherford, Green Infrastructure and Native Plant Specialist for the City of Chattanooga (and Board member of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones!) will cover:
  • All Land is a Watershed - How Your Actions Impact Local and Regional Waterways
  • How to Reduce Runoff in Your Yard
  • Plants that are the Best Pick
  • Traditional Practices to Avoid or Reduce Usage
The Humane Gardener:
Nurturing a Home Wildlife Habitat
Monday, September 14, 2020
6:00pm (Eastern DST)
Free online via Zoom
with Nancy Lawson

Why do we call some insects “beneficial” while others are “pests”? Why are some plants considered “desirable” while others are “weeds”?

In this myth-busting talk, learn how common growing methods divide the natural world into false dichotomies and perpetuate misconceptions about the wild species living among us. Discover practical ways to put humane gardening philosophies into action by protecting wildlife nurseries, eliminating unintended hazards, nurturing plants that provide food and shelter, and humanely resolving conflicts with mammals and other commonly misunderstood creatures.

By intentionally offering some areas of your landscape to wildlife and gently protecting others, you can replace resistance with coexistence—and watch as your garden grows into a refuge for you and all your wild neighbors.

Nancy is a columnist for All Animals magazine and is the founder of Humane Gardener, an outreach initiative dedicated to cultivating compassion for all creatures great and small through animal-friendly, environmentally sensitive landscaping methods.
Why Plant in the Fall?
Why is fall such a good time to plant? In this short video, learn about the reasons and the dates that are the best times to plant native plants in the Tennessee Valley.
Our First Photo Contest!
NEW this year! Members Only! Enter your photos now!

For amateur photographers only, our Photo Contest 2020 is intended to encourage members of the chapter to get outdoors and to explore and learn about native plant gardens and other natural spaces. The chapter also wants to document in photography the beauty of native flora and fauna in the Tennessee Valley area and to showcase the photography skills of the chapter members.

All photos submitted must include plant(s) and wildlife(s) native to the Tennessee Valley region. Recognition prizes will be provided in six categories.

The entry deadline is September 30, 2020.
Upcoming CNP 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. The CNP offers a blend of classroom instruction, hands-on learning and guided hikes. Participants are required to complete four core classes, eight electives, and 40 hours of volunteering for approved native plant projects. 

Visit for more information.  Classes are open to Wild Ones members and non-members, whether or not you are pursuing the certificate.  

More information on the October 10th CNP class will be coming soon.

Interesting Information
The Soil's Story is the Story of Us
Thousands of years of taking have caught up with us—and our soil. Approximately 40 percent of agricultural soils worldwide are degraded or seriously degraded; we lose an estimated 36 billion tons of topsoil every year. Scientists warn us that we only have about 60 years of productive soil left. What will happen when the Earth has lost all of its soil and can no longer produce food? While this is a dire future, it doesn’t have to be our destiny.
In what’s believed to be the first footage of its kind, a stunningly slow-motion video by Dr. Adrian Smith captures a rare group of insects just as they lift off the ground. The NC State assistant professor utilized a black light to attract unusual insects, like a plume moth, eastern firefly, and a rosy maple moth that, as Smith notes, resembles “a flying muppet.” He then recorded the creatures’ flight maneuvers at 3,200 fps to capture their unique wing movements, which he explains during each step. The macro lens also shows the minute details of their limbs and furry bodies, offering a rare glimpse at the insects up-close.
If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to download free high resolution images of 435 bird illustrations, you can now do so. The National Audubon Society has recently made John James Audubon’s seminal Birds of America available to the public in a downloadable digital library (signing up for their email list is a prerequisite).

Birds of America was printed between 1827 and 1838, and was filled prints created from hand-engraved plates based on Audubon’s original watercolor paintings. In addition to the prints, each bird’s page also includes a recording of the animal’s call, plus extensive written texts from the period of the book’s printing.
From Egg... to Tadpole... to Frog
Most often we go through life without witnessing the life process of the many creatures that share our world. Maybe the closest we get is to watch a butterfly lay an egg, the egg turn into a caterpillar, and then that caterpillar transform into a butterfly. This year, Ellen Honeycutt was delighted to watch frog eggs go through their transformation from blob to frog. She details the process she used to protect the growing frogs in this blog post.
Online Programs of Interest
Plan It Native Landscapes Conference
Native landscapes are essential for a healthy planet. The 2020 Plan It Native Landscapes Conference, hosted by Deep Roots KC and its partners, will offer speakers including Doug Tallamy, Heather Holm, Benjamin Vogt and many others. Sessions will include case studies, information on best practices, and experts sharing technical know-how on a wide variety of topics.

This three half-day virtual event offers in-depth sessions with regional and national experts. Between sessions, there will be networking opportunities, roundtable discussions, and a virtual exhibit hall.
Photos from the Field
Metallic Sweat Bee on Elephantopus tomentosus

Photo by Mike O'Brien

Tall Ironweed

Photo by Mike O'Brien
Newly emerged Juniper Hairstreak
on Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea)
This species of butterfly never strays far from the host tree -
Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

Photo by Mike O'Brien

Join Wild Ones!
Joining or Renewing
Your Wild Ones Membership?
Join a community of native plant enthusiasts – novices to experts – making a difference by establishing and preserving communities of native plants in home landscapes, schools, businesses, and communities.

AND receive benefits, including discounted admission for our annual Symposium and Certificate in Native Plants classes. As a member, you'll also be invited to members-only hikes, garden visits and social events.
Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones
Upcoming Event Calendar

Wednesday, September 9, 12 noon - 1pm EST
Free Public Program online

Saturday, September 12, 9am - 3pm EST
with seven regional native plant nurseries
Grace Episcopal Church, 20 Belvoir Ave., Chattanooga TN
Outdoors. Masks required.

Monday, September 14, 6:00pm
with Nancy Lawson
Free Webinar online
Please register in advance

September 30, 2020
Entry Deadline for Members-Only Photo Contest 2020!

October 10, 2020
Certificate in Native Plants class
Details TBA

For event details and Zoom links, visit
Under the Programs & Events tab, click on Calendar.

Stay Connected
View videos on our YouTube Channel.
Follow us on Instagram at
"Like" our public Facebook page, and stay up to date on our events and interesting information about native plants and natural landscaping.
Join our Facebook GROUP, where you can ask questions about native plants, join discussions and learn more about native plants and natural landscaping.
Visit Our Website at

Join our Meetup group to stay current about upcoming programs, classes and events.