A Gift for Gardeners



That's what gardeners had to say about last year's first-ever Outdoor Living Extravaganza events in Chicago and Boston. This year Proven Winners is bringing this enjoyable and educational gardening seminar to additional cities across North America.

You'll learn from experts about creative new ways to use color, the easiest ways to grow plant varieties, how to put together exceptional containers, and much more.

P. Allen Smith, The Today Show’s gardening expert, will be at some locations with fun and practical advice, and later you can join him for book signings and photos.

In addition, you'll be treated to a goody bag of exciting gifts-including a plant; you'll enjoy delicious lunch, beverages, and snacks; and you'll have plenty of chances to win great prizes. Even your non-gardening friends will enjoy this relaxed and entertaining look at what’s new in outdoor decor, Proven Winners style.


February 6 - Dallas, TX

SPEAKERS



February 20 - Lake City, UT

SPEAKERS

P. Allen Smith
Kerry Meyer
Carmen Johnston
TBD

March 6 - Chicago / Rolling Meadows, IL

SPEAKERS

Kerry Meyer
Tim WoodTBD
TBD


March 13 - Minneapolis / Park, MN

SPEAKERS

Amy SitzeJohn Gaydos
TBD


March 26 - Vancouver / Rosedale, BC Canada

and March 27

SPEAKERS
P. Allen Smith
Brian Minter
Ingrid Hoff
John Gaydos

April 24 - Boston / Norwood, MA

SPEAKERS
P. Allen Smith
Kerry Meyer
Tim Wood
Amanda Thomsen

What People are saying ......


I attended your PW seminar in Chicago, this weekend. Loved it! It was a wonderful day! Thank you!Nancy from Wisconsin

I was at your Chicago show over the weekend and I would like to compliment you on a great time! All of the speakers were wonderful and I really learned from them. I would love to attend another show! I just wish it wasn't winter in Chicago I am ready to attack the yard! Thank you for an enjoyable Saturday! Kathy from Illinois

My husband and I were among the fortunate gardeners who attended the Outdoor Living Extravaganza in Chicago yesterday. Thank you, thank you, thank you for an inspiring, fun, and informational day. We've been serious gardeners for over 40 years and have never experienced a garden seminar that could even come close to the experience you provided. We hope this will become an annual event. Again, thank you for a wonderful day. Kim from Wisconsin

----

The first 100 to register prior to the New Year will receive a FREE 2010 Proven Winners calendar and save $10.00.All those registering before the first of the year will receive $10 off their ticket. $75.00 per person before January 1, 2010. $85.00 per person starting January 1, 2010.
REGISTER HERE

Abracadabra - Bark Can be Cool


Regular people look at plants quite differently than your typical horticulturist. That’s why I get a kick out of reading comments by Mike Dirr where he gushes about the attractiveness of the bark on some particular shrub. As if the typical homeowner is going to actually crouch down under a shrub and exclaim “Wow, now that’s awesome bark.” From my experience, the public does not get overly excited about bark (that is unless it has in-your-face bark like a Paper Bark Birch).

I get excited about bark, but I have to remind myself that most people won’t even notice. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nigra’ (Syn.: H. macrophylla 'Mandshurica') is a good example. It’s a cool plant. I like it but it’s never been a big seller. It has very attractive back stems, but the feature is obscured by the leaves, so few people ever notice.

When I first saw the Abracadabra Series of Hydrangea in Germany, I got so excited I could hardly contain myself. That’s because, for the first time ever, I actually felt that the average shopper could get excited about bark. What makes these plants so unique is that they have internodes (the spacing between the leaves) that are large enough to give you a real good view of the dark, glossy black stems. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the plants also have funky blooms that are both massive and richly colored. I honestly think that these plants have a cool factor that will make them as popular as lucky bamboo. As a pot plant they would make great centerpiece on a table. You’d actually be able to see the person across the table from you.

Abracadabra Star has massive lace-cap blooms with hot pink flowers. The stems are straight and strong.


Abracadabra Orb is a mop-head hydrangea. The flowers emerge a blend of peach and green then mature to a deep pink. As with Abracadabra Star, the bloom size is massive. The sepals are thick in texture and again are held up on strong, upright stems.