May 15, 2011
The plant branding giant Proven Winners has been holding its Outdoor Living Extravaganza events at various cities in North America for several years. The Extravaganza is a one-day gardening seminar to drive demand for PW-branded products to homeowners. Each event features a PW staff member, with some local gardening experts to round out the program.

The promotional tour wrapped up its spring 2011 roadshow, with a stop at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham on Apr. 15. John Gaydos, director of product development and promotion at Proven Winners, opened the day’s events. Gaydos was PW’s first employee, and ran through the company’s plant breeding and selection process and talked up the year’s new introductions.

Beckie Fox, editor of Garden Making magazine, then took the podium, and presented a thoughtful and personal approach to garden design. Her 15 tips were well illustrated with slides, and had the audience asking many questions.

After lunch, Toronto Botanical Garden’s Paul Zammit gave an energetic and enthusiastic presentation on creating dramatic containers. His collection of photographs encouraged gardeners to use their imagination when it comes to plant combinations.

Mark Cullen concluded the day’s events with a look at how his 10-acre garden has evolved, and his sustainable approach to gardening.

An appreciative audience enjoyed an early look at the plants that will be on sale at independent garden centres this spring. Plants and gardening tools were given away as door prizes at intervals throughout the day, and attendees were given a chance to purchase PW plants at a pop-up store in the lobby.