2013 Native Plant & Natural Landscaping Symposium

Thanks for a great symposium!  See you again next year!

Second Annual Symposium

“Natural Landscaping:
Getting MORE with Less

Practical information about using native plants in the home landscape to get
MORE birds & butterflies, biodiversity, beauty, and a healthy environment …
with LESS watering, maintenance, lawn area, and chemicals.

Saturday, March 9, 2013  
8:00 a.m. ‐ 3:30 p.m.

Chattanooga State Humanities Building Auditorium
4501 Amnicola Highway, Chattanooga, TN
Informational exhibits.  

Native plants will be available for sale.  

To register, click on the
2013 Symposium Registration tab above

8:00 a.m. ‐‐ 9:00 a.m. ‐‐ Registration

9:00 a.m. ‐‐ Welcome

9:10 ‐ 10:00 a.m.  “Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachians” Tim Spira, PhD
  Which native plants belong together in a harmonious community? Dr. Spira explains the multi‐layered tapestry of plant life in this area and how knowing how the members of these plant communities support each other can reduce the need for constant intervention. He will also provide information about wildflowers that make an attractive addition to woodland wildflower landscapes.

10:00 ‐ 10:50 a.m.  “Building a Native Plant Garden: Native Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines in the Urban Environment” Leon Bates
  A well designed landscape starts with a good infrastructure. Leon Bates shows how native trees, shrubs and vines provide those basic building blocks for a sustainable and enjoyable urban or suburban yard.

10:50 ‐ 11:10 a.m. – Break & Door Prizes

11:10 a.m. – 12:00 Noon  Adding More Beauty: Great Native Perennials for Your Garden”Andy Sessions   Native plants do grow unaided in the wild, but in a garden they benefit from the same care given to other ornamental plants. Learn about native perennials that offer beauty, low maintenance, flower and foliage integrity, profuse blooming, and insect and disease resistance so that you can create your own native plant paradise.

12:00 Noon ‐ 12:50 p.m. – Lunch (provided)

12:50 ‐‐ 1:40 p.m.  “Gardening for Nature: Promoting Biodiversity at Home”Lisa Wagner, PhD
  Increasing biodiversity means we are building a habitat that supports a wider range of wildlife. Learn what native plants will encourage birds, butterflies, and other creatures to visit and live in our landscapes.

1:40 p.m. – Break & Door Prizes

1:55 p.m. ‐‐ 2:45 p.m.  Managing Invasive Exotic Plants in a Natural Landscape”Cherie Cordell
  Despite best efforts, exotic pest plants like privets and exotic honeysuckles can be a constant challenge to control. Cherie Cordell has many years of experience in invasive pest plant control and will provide best practices for keeping your landscape natural.

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Q&A Panel: Dealing with Gardening Challenges of the Tennessee Valley 
(all speakers)

3:30 p.m. – Door Prizes & Closing Remarks 

Symposium Speakers

Leon Bates is a native of East Tennessee with family ties to pioneer “mountaineers.” He is a graduate of the University of Georgia (B.S. Forestry) and the University of Tennessee (M.S. Botany).  During his professional career with the US Forest Service, TVA and the City of Florence, AL, he served as a forester, biologist, botanist and urban forester/horticulturist.  Since the early 70s, Leon has actively supported and served as an officer and board member of state and local native plant, wildflower, conservation, arboriculture and invasive plant societies.  An avid hiker, naturalist and nature photographer, he explores the streams and “hills and hollers” of Southeast Tennessee where he and wife, Pat, live on the ancestral home place of his great grandparents.

Cherie Cordell has worked as the Biological Science Technician for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Gatlinburg TN for the past 11 years, with primary duties including greenhouse management and invasive plant removal. She graduated from the University of Tennessee (B.S. Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design). After graduating she worked at the Native Gardens in Greenback, TN.  In addition, she worked at Stones River National Battlefield and Golden Gate National Recreation area, focusing on exotic plant control.

Andy Sessions is a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, (B.A. plant taxonomy) and the University of Tennessee in (M.S. botany).  At U.T., she met her future husband and business partner, Marty Zenni, who had established Sunlight Gardens as a landscape company that specialized in using native plants way back in the 1980s.  Together they continue to operate Sunlight Gardens, growing, selling and landscaping with native plants

Tim Spira, Ph.D., is a plant ecologist, native plant gardener, hiker, and professor of botany at Clemson University where he teaches field botany, plant ecology, and the natural history of wildflowers.  He is the author of the award-winning book, Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist's Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia (University of North Carolina Press).

Lisa Wagner is Director of Education at the South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson University. A plant ecologist (Ph.D. in Botany, UC Berkeley), she’s interested in native plants, sustainable gardening, public education, and promoting habitat restoration.  She was the lead author of The Nature of Clemson: a Field Guide to the Natural History of Clemson University. Her blog, Natural Gardening, http://www.naturalgardening.blogspot.com/ contains her reflections and observations about gardening and the natural world.

Lisa Wagner and her spouse Tim Spira, have transformed a 2-acre traditional landscape in the Piedmont of South Carolina to a garden that includes a diversity of native plants, wildlife habitats, and a raised-bed organic vegetable garden.  In the mountains of North Carolina, they are transforming mulched beds to pocket meadows and a native woodland garden. 

Thank you to our Symposium Sponsors!

Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center
Chattanooga Association of Landscape Professionals
Master Gardeners of Hamilton County


  1. It is really advisable for several households to join this symposium about Natural home landscaping and its important to improve your home and even to help environment by planting trees and flowers in your backyard.

    Littleton landscape

  2. Elite Property Maintenance is a good quality Chattanooga Lawn Care service company. All of their crews are highly trained to ensure a high level of service and enhance the customer’s experience. Chattanooga Lawn Care service is one of their best service.

  3. Land scaping In San carlos Leon Bates shows how native trees, shrubs and vines provide those basic building blocks for a sustainable and enjoyable urban or suburban yard.

  4. If somebody wants expert take on the main topic of blogging next I advise him/her to go to this site, continue the fussy job. iTrim4u

  5. asymmetrical style. Informal is considerably more common than formal. Contact NSW Synthetic Grass