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Proven Winners Announces Their First Botanical Trail
by Jeanine Standard
April 27, 2014

Proven Winners®, the nations #1 plant brand, has recently announced the designation of its first Proven Winners® Botanical Trail. Kentucky’s Rockcastle River Trading Company received the designation as the first such property in the nation.

A designated Proven Winners® Botanical Trail exemplifies a property that successfully integrates Proven Winners® plants as a complement to the natural landscape, while respecting local landscape tradition and indigenous plant material.

Rockcastle River Trading Company is the popular home and garden store located on the family property and boyhood home of Jon Carloftis. Author of Beautiful Gardens of Kentucky, Beyond the Windowsill, and First a Garden, Jon is an award-winning garden designer, garden writer, television guest, author, and lecturer.

The Botanical Trail will open with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday June 13, 2014 with a gathering of state and national plant and nature lovers. On Saturday June 14, 2014, the public is invited to hear the history of the location and the plants that make up the trail.

An hour drive south of Lexington to Livingston, Rockcastle River Trading Company’s beautiful gardens, designed by Jon, surround the Carloftis home and store, and have been featured in BMW Magazine, Country Home, Garden & Gun, Outdoor Rooms, and Southern Living. Complementing the grounds is a newly created series of walking trails that meander along the Rockcastle River and that were part of the wilderness road once traveled by Daniel Boone. Intended to be somewhat of a plant adventure, many of the newest selections of Proven Winners® plants are effectively designed and integrated into focal points along the trails. Jon notes “I grew up with a tremendous respect for the beautiful native Kentucky landscape. Using so many Proven Winners® plants in my landscape projects, and seeing their exceptional performance, I was attracted to the Proven Winners Botanical Trail concept as a way to showcase their beauty and yet still maintain a respect for the native surroundings.”

Beginning this spring, the existing gardens on the Carloftis property will be complemented with many of the latest introductions from Proven Winners®, including some of Jon’s favorites including Decadence™ ‘Blueberry Sundae’ Baptisia and ‘Bottle Rocket’ Ligularia, As the first designated Proven Winners® Botanical Trail, the Rockcastle River Trading Company property joins six additional prestigious properties with special designations from Proven Winners: Mackinac Island’s Hotel Iroquois, Charlotte’s Duke Mansion, The Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens in California, Meadow Brook Hall in Michigan, the Governor’s Mansion in Illinois and Kentucky’s Governor’s Mansion. Each of these properties are all designated as Proven Winners® Signature Gardens with impressive display gardens, significantly landscaped as a showcase of the newest selections from Proven Winners®.

It is the collaboration with Jon Carloftis that brought the Proven Winners Signature Garden designation to Kentucky’s Governor’s Mansion. Adds Jon . . . “And now, visitors to the Mansion have another Kentucky must-see destination - a Proven Winners Botanical Trail at Rockcastle River Trading Company.

Proven Winners is the nation’s #1 plant brand, continually introducing the best, most unique, high performing plants under the highest quality standards. Each Proven Winners Signature Garden and Botanical Trail represents an elite group of exclusive properties committed to high standards of landscaped gardens, providing the opportunity to showcase the extraordinary performance of Proven Winners plants in the landscape.

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