Friday, April 12, 2013

Marking the Wildflowers Along the Clarksville Greenways for Educational Purposes

I am going to share with you all a special occasion for my garden club; though the occasion has actually been going on for more than one year.

My garden club, the Beachaven Garden Club, decided more than one year ago to take on a civic project. The civic project needed to be something we could all do and it had to be something we could keep up with. You know it is mighty hard to get anyone to do anything nowadays so we picked our project carefully. It had to be garden related and it had to make an impact as well as be a beautiful thing. We, as a club, decided we would label the wildflowers found along our very own Clarksville Greenway.
We began with monthly walks last year. At first we used labels with hand written names. The writing was only a temporary thing because despite our best efforts, the writing really was not readable for people walking along the greenway. Even so, many people commented on the labels and we all enjoyed the fact that local folks were taking notice of our wildflowers. 

We then did some research and decided that we should go all out with this project and improve upon our markers. After some research we found a great way to label the wildflowers. The result is as you see pictured above. These labels were ordered locally (good idea Diann), then attached to the plant stakes we already had on hand. Each of these labels costs our club approximately $3 not including the plant stake itself. So far we have identified over 30 types of wildflowers. We have also kept track of our labels (fairly well) and in the year that we've been labeling the wildflowers the labels are staying in place and seem to be holding up well. The chance that they might walk off is always a real possibility with any labeling job in a garden or natural area but we are pleased to say disappearing labels along the greenway have not been a big issue.

Along with the labels we decided to let the users of the Clarksville Greenway know who exactly it was that was responsible for labeling the wildflowers. After some back and forth paperwork we had a signed memorandum between our garden club and the Mayor of Clarksville (Mayor Kim McMillan). We were thrilled. Not only we were now legal but the city agreed to help us out by printing a wonderful reflective sign for installation at the Greenway trailhead. You can see the sign in the first picture.

As we all met for our walks we not only gained fellowship but also knowledge of local wildflowers. It was truly a learning experience for us all. Here is a picture of a group of lovely ladies who went out last month for a walk in preparation for the emergence of the spring wildflowers. From left to right are: Charene, Diann, Dianne, Lili, Eddie, Irene, and Helga. I am kneeling. You can tell by all of our coats the weather was a bit chilly that day.
I normally don't like pictures of myself but I really liked this picture that one of the members took (I believe it was Helga). I am holding out a sprig of toothwort. Toothwort is a very common Tennessee wildflower.
This picture was taken on the day of the dedication. Members and VIPs include (from left to right): Mayor Kim McMillan, Donna, Charene, Eddie, Lili, Mary Clair, Helga, Diann, and the Clarksville Tree Forester Josh. I am kneeling in front.

I'd like to invite you all out for a Montgomery County Master Gardener walk tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM to look at the wildflowers Beachaven Garden Club labeled along the greenway....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Hi Tina...This was a wonderful project for your club. Hubby and I walk several of these greenways and it's always nice to see a lovely plant and be able to know what it is. Great picture of you holding the Toothwart. Thanks to you and the Beachaven Garden Club for taking on this project!

  2. What a great idea!! Especially the signs!! Loved your photo!!

  3. Great project and great for the community!

  4. What a fantastic idea. I have come across many wild plants & wondered what they were. This would be a great help.

  5. This is a great project and it seems you all have done a nice job of finding ways to make it happen. The labels look good. The sign really looks nice and all you happy gardeners look great. Nice photo of you!

  6. You guys took on a great project! I cannot tell you how many times we have been walking along such a trail and spotted many unknown wildflowers and plants. Now the locals on this greenway will know what they are seeing! A great educational asset with this group of wonderful ladies!

  7. great idea! I need to do this on my own place, otherwise every spring it's "that pretty purple flower is blooming again."

  8. As I am up on the cumberland plateau outside of Monterey, I don't know when I'd be out your way, soooo.....I was wondering if you will be posting pics of the plants with their labels? Also, is there a wild azalea and does anyone have a pic of it? Carla

    1. Hi Carla and welcome to In the Garden. No, I was not planning on posting the wildflowers with the tags but I can direct you to an awesome book that will help you identify wildflowers. It is:

      This is the book recommended by the Tennessee Wildflower Society and is quite comprehensive. This blog is an excellent resource for plants in Tennessee. It was the only place where I could get an identification on a plant that was unknown to me and several other folks. They really have a good database.

      On the wild azalea perhaps you are speaking of the Pinxter Azalea? It is a very good and pretty native azalea. I don't have a picture of it and am only familiar with it due to a client desiring to have a few in her garden. I believe GroWild or Nashville Natives may carry it. I don't have a picture but if you Google Pinxter Azaleas you'll come up to a lot of images featuring it. Have a great weekend!

  9. What a great project! Anyone walking along this area will appreciate the wildflower i.d.s; I know I definitely would.

  10. Looks like a great walk on a nice day with a lovely group of lasies. Our club has a native wildflower garden, but does not take nature walks. We should though as the MGs do.

  11. I appreciate your efforts to educate the public on wildflowers.

  12. Tina this is so outstanding. What a great project by a great group of folks!!

  13. What a great project. There are times I wish WE came with name well as the plant material I find in the woods. What a nice event for your club as well as those who come afterwards to learn about the wildflowers.