published Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Garden party

Native Plant Sale celebrates easy-care wildflowers, grasses, vines, trees and shrubs

Bloodroot
Bloodroot
Photo by Staff File Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

■ What: Reflection Riding Spring Native Plant Sale.

■ When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 28-29; noon-5 p.m. Sunday, March 30.

■ Where: Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center, 400 Garden Road.

■ Admission: Free.

■ Phone: 423-821-1160.

■ Website: www.ChattanoogaNatureCenter.org.

It doesn't take much forethought to plunk down a plant in a square of soil, but there are reasons to be choosy. Plants can do more than sit there and look pretty.

For some gardeners, the secret to a green thumb is to plant what grows naturally.

Native plants, say experts at the Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center, are already tuned in to local growth patterns and weather, so they require less care (water, fertilization, pesticides).

What's good for the gardener is easy on the ecosystem too. Using less fertilizer and pesticides means fewer toxins released into the land and water. And don't forget the codependent relationship between plants and their pollinators (birds, bees, butterflies). They need each other for survival and reproduction.

There are myriad considerations, as well, for soil, sun and water needs, US Department of Agriculture hardiness zones, the future size of an established plant, and the season it flowers. That said, the choice may still come down to "What color does it bloom?"

Whatever questions you need to ask, you can find help this weekend, March 28-30, at the 27th annual Reflection Riding Native Plant Sale, where nearly 100 choices of wildflowers, grasses, vines, tree and shrubs will be available to get your garden party started. All have been propagated from seed to bloom in the greenhouse. You can preview what's available at www.ChattanoogaNatureCenter.org.

In addition to plants, visitors will find activities for the whole family, including the chance to explore the state's only nonprofit Level IV arboretum, which includes botanical and landscape gardens as well as wetlands on its 317 acres.

SCHEDULE

Friday, March 28

11 a.m. Hummingbirds and Pollination. Learn what to plant to attract these birds.

Noon. Great Trees of the Arboretum. Hike to see some of the best trees among the 140 species on the property.

1 p.m. Spring Ephemerals and Wildflower Walk. Learn about these short-lived plants in the barn, then go on a walk to see them in their natural setting.

2:30 p.m. Butterfly Walk. Learn their importance and how to identify butterflies of Southeast Tennessee.

3:30 p.m. Animal Presentations. Meet the center's animal ambassadors and learn about native wildlife on the property.

Saturday, March 29

11 a.m. Bee Pollination. Learn about the importance of honeybees and the declining population of these native pollinators.

Noon. Great Trees of the Arboretum. Hike to see some of the best trees among the 140 species on the property.

1 p.m. Spring Ephemerals and Wildflower Walk. Learn about these short-lived plants in the barn, then go on a walk to see them in their natural setting.

1-3 p.m. Music by Mountain Creek House Fire (Pattee Wilbanks and Robert Lovett)

2:30 p.m. Landscaping With Natives. Learn concepts and techniques for native plants from a landscape architect.

3:30 p.m. Animal Presentations. Meet the center's animal ambassadors and learn about native wildlife on the property.

Sunday, March 30

12:30 p.m. Tree ID Walk. Take this family-friendly hike to learn about the trees of the arboretum.

1 p.m. Spring Wildflower Walk. A family-friendly hike to see spring ephemerals.

1-3 p.m. Music by Bramble Roses

1:30 p.m. Fruit Trees and Pollinators. Learn how to grow fruit trees organically in the Tennessee Valley and the importance of native pollinators.

2:30 p.m. Photographing Wildflowers. Bring your camera for a class on taking beautiful photos of flowers.

3:30 p.m. Animal Presentations. Meet the center's animal ambassadors and learn about native wildlife on the property.

Daily

■ Pose questions to Master Gardeners of Hamilton County

■ Create soft chalk pastels with art teacher Hannah Alaniz

■ Watch plein air artists at work on the grounds

■ Explore the hiking trails, boardwalk and Wildlife Wanderland

■ Canoe Lookout Creek

about Staff Report...

Get breaking news from the Times Free Press on Twitter at www.twitter.com/timesfreepress or by visiting us on Facebook or Twitter at the right:

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.