Growing a Welcome Mat for Tennessee Wildlife

Native TN plants such as Columbine from Lori McAlister's garden.

Native TN plants such as Columbine from Lori McAlister's garden.

If you enjoy visits from wildlife in your backyard, you need to know Lori McAlister.  Owner of Tennessee Naturescapes, Lori has a knack for growing plants that appeal to wildlife native to the region.

“The obvious advantage of growing native plants is that they belong here, there is a sense of place.  They require less fertilizer and water, and they can handle our temperatures in the spring.”   The bonus is that these plants appeal to native insects and animals who are drawn to them for food and shelter.

Lori is a native of Oak Ridge.  Her passion for plants took root after attending a horticulture class in 1993.  She gained valuable experience working for Willow Ridge and Sunlight Gardens before launching Tennessee Naturescapes just a couple of years ago.

You can find Lori and her native plants at the Oak Ridge Farmers Market on the 3rd and 4th Saturdays of the month.  She also can be found from time-to-time at the Knoxville Farmers Market on Tuesdays.  Next year, she plans to open a retail nursery near Oak Ridge.  You can reach her by email at: lorimcalister10@yahoo.com

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