Gardening with the Native Plants of
Tennessee: The Spirit of Place by Margie Hunter, 2002, University
of Tennessee Press
s a life-long
Tennessean and 22-year gardener, I became inspired to know as much
as I could about the plants that have called this place home for
millennia. A little research failed to produce one easy source for
this information, so I decided to compile one. This book is the
result. In its pages gardeners in Tennessee and the adjacent states
of the Mid-South will find a wealth of information on great plants
native to this area that perform well in the garden. The book's
main section offers a comprehensive list of wildflowers, ferns,
grasses, vines, shrubs, and trees suitable for horticulture with
a full written description, cultural information, and state distribution
for approximately 450 species of plants native to Tennessee and
the Mid-South along with nearly 400 quality, color photographs.
The depth and breadth of the plant list provide gardeners an invaluable
and unprecedented reference.
The first four chapters present a non-technical
look at the natural history and ecology (geology, geography, soil,
climate, plant communities, wildlife, rare plants, and exotic pest
plants) of Tennessee. Gardeners in adjacent states will find much
of this information equally applicable to them and can utilize the
resources given to easily extend it into their immediate areas.
Through this information gardeners gain a greater understanding
of the unique natural character of this area and its application
in their own landscapes for a richer and more successful gardening
experience. By blending ecology and conservation with horticulture,
it is my desire to offer an appreciation of the Mid-South's natural
heritage and in the process reanimate the sense of who we are and
where we live through our natural environment.
I have found no other book expressly designed
for the home gardener that includes such area-tailored information
or such a comprehensive listing of plants. A detailed bibliography
and appendixes of mail-order nurseries, botanical gardens, area
agencies and organizations, and native plant conferences offer readers
ample opportunities to further explore specific topics of interest.
are just a few of the things covered:
Explanation and description of the diverse geography in Tennessee,
which offers clues to gardening successfully
Descriptions of different plant communities in the Mid-South
and the plants typically found in each
Tips on attracting native wildlife and the types of wildlife
attracted to individual plant species
Native plants that performed well in state trial gardens
Tips on gardening with native plants
Summary charts of all plant species showing at a glance flower
color, bloom time, site requirements, and interesting plant features
The horticultural "bad boys" exotic pest
plants all gardeners should avoid
How to detect plants that have been wild collected
Native plants that are difficult to cultivate
Ordering the Book: This
book should be available at all bookstores or online through Amazon.com.
Suggested retail price is $34.95. The author has copies available for sale during speaking engagements at a discounted price.