Proven Winners 2022 Gardener’s Idea Book is another winner
You can download your free copy directly from Proven Winners’ website
Proven Winners’ 2022 Gardener’s Idea Book takes a page or two from last year’s informative booklet and adds some interesting extras that are sure to pique your interest.
If you have not ordered your free printed copy, you can download the 42-page booklet just by logging in to the Proven Winners’ web site and going to the Gardener’s Idea Book download. There are a total of 14 excellent downloads on this web page, including this year’s Idea Book and last year’s outstanding Gardener’s Idea Book.
Other downloads include: A new Vision for Hydrangeas, PW perennials, Landscape Solutions for the South, and a new vision for Native shrubs. Some of the downloads are even available in French and Latin.
If you love the Proven Winner’s Idea Book, Check out my link to the 2023 Idea Book here.
Here is a link to the 2021 Proven Winners’ Gardener’s Idea Book.
Like last year’s booklet that included a series of planted containers featuring outstanding combinations of Proven Winners’ plants, this year’s booklet follows up with 4 pages offering up tips on choosing container companion plants. Proven Winners provides valuable information on creating containers of plants that prefer similar growing conditions and plants with similar growth rates. Both features are important to get the most out of your containers. Not only do they provide a list of the plants along with images of what you can expect, Proven Winners’ experts also provide planting maps on how best to create the look.
If you are like me and depend on containers to add colour and interest to your garden, you will appreciate the ease of following these guidelines to create stunning containers for both sunny and shady areas.
The booklet also explores five tips for creating outstanding window boxes for shaded areas, and a separate feature about using window boxes around living areas such as decks and patios to create more cozy living areas.
It’s important to note that, although Proven Winners has outstanding plants and shrubs that can be real standouts in the garden, they are cultivated plants and therefore not native. As a result, these cultivated plants, while performing admirably when it comes to flowering or growth habits, are unlikely to provide wildlife with the same benefits as the species or native plants that the fauna has evolved with over centuries.
See my article on why we should use native plants in our gardens.
Focus on Rain Gardens
Proven Winners explores one of the growing trends in natural gardens with a focus on building and planting a small rain garden. The rain garden plan provided in the booklet focuses on a shaded area along a driveway. How many of us have that exact problem, where water runs down between the houses in the long narrow strip separating the driveways?
Proven Winners’ booklet helps to provide a solution for the problem with this two-page feature that provides a simple construction plan along with a planting scheme and, of course, excellent photographs to illustrate the final look.
Tips on creating a DIY planter table
Other articles in the booklet include creating a planter table that centres around creating a living centre piece of flowers, herbs and vegetables. The large table with living plants running down the middle is an impressive creation and would provide a topic of lively discussion around the dinner table with friends.
A smaller, DIY planter table on a budget is a great project for either a smaller garden or a great option to introduce children to garden dining, as well as maintaining a small herb and vegetable garden.
There are other pages devoted to Proven Winners’ favourite social media gardeners including Laura LeBoutillier from @GardenAnswer and Jenny Simpson @gardeningwithcreekside.
Plenty of garden plans and illustrations
Several pages are devoted to creating new garden areas designed for specific results. All of the designs include complete planting guides as well as photos to illustrate the final result. Of course, they all feature Proven Winners product, but gardeners could easily swap out some of the Proven Winners suggestions for some of their own favourites native plants.
The individual gardens include a “summer sunglow” garden centered around a small shed or children’s playhouse that include plantings of coleus, verbena and Lemon Coral Sedum with grasses forming the backdrop.
A garden to attract hummingbirds
Other garden designs include a sun worshippers design, a garden for hummingbirds, a lush bold border and a border designed as a deer-friendly border for those of us who struggle with deer in our yards.
That’s already a lot of value packed in to the booklet, but it’s really only the beginning of the information provided to readers.
Tips to create your own Moonlit Garden
The four pages dedicated to a moonlight garden using primarily white and cream plants and night blooming flowers is full of great ideas. The impressive garden featured in the booklet is large, but downsizing the plan to include a smaller area of the garden, let’s say a corner or even just the area around your patio, is entirely possible and more likely a realistic goal for most homeowners.
Not only does a moonlight garden look great in the evening and is perfect for those who like to entertain, for wildlife gardeners the moonlight garden is ideal for attracting moths and bats to the garden.
To wrap it up, the booklet offers ideas and tips on using plants as a screen for unsightly views or privacy from your neighbours.
There are also pages focusing on gardening in arid spaces, and extending the life of your outdoor plants by bringing them indoors during the winter, and finally, an overview of Proven Winners’ newest introductions both perennials and shrubs.
In Conclusion: Proven Winners comes through again
Granted, the entire Idea Book is an advertisment for the company’s many plants and garden shrubs. Also, it should not be dismissed that none of their plants are natives, and the proliferation of cultivated garden plants is threatening the very existence of many of our native plants. Nevertheless, there still is a place in our gardens for these plants, especially the annuals that provide outstanding colour to our mostly-green woodland gardens. And, it’s not to say that just because these plants are non-native cultivars, they are of no value to wildlife such as pollinators, insects, etc. Many of these plants continue to attract hummingbirds and pollinators and quite possibly can be host plants for larvae. They just don’t usually do it as well as native plants.
So, by all means, use native plants whenever possible, but don’t be afraid to take advantage of the suggestions provided in the Proven Winners Idea Book and go with them.
I can almost guarantee that you will be impressed with the results.