Proven Winners Announces Kentucky-Based Garden Store As First Botanical Trail

Proven Winners Announces Kentucky-Based Garden Store As First Botanical Trail

baptisablueberrysundae_hh2Kentucky’s Rockcastle River Trading Company recently received the designation as the first Proven Winners Botanical Trail in the nation.

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


Rockcastle River Trading Company is a popular home and garden store located on the family property and boyhood home of Jon Carloftis. The 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, with a gathering of state and national plant and nature lovers. On Saturday, June 14, 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, Rockcastle River Trading Company’s gardens, designed by Carloftis, surround the family’s home and store. They 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. The trails were once part of the wilderness road traveled by Daniel Boone.

Intended to be somewhat of a plant adventure, many of the newest selections of Proven Winners plants are designed and integrated into focal points along the trails.

“I grew up with a tremendous respect for the beautiful native Kentucky landscape,” says Carloftis. “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 Carloftis’ 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
  • Illinois Governor’s Mansion
  • Kentucky Governor’s Mansion.

Each of these properties is all designated as a Proven Winners Signature Garden with impressive display gardens, significantly landscaped as a showcase of the newest selections from Proven Winners.

It is the collaboration with Carloftis that brought the Proven Winners Signature Garden designation to The Kentucky Governor’s Mansion.

“And now, visitors to the Mansion have another Kentucky must-see destination — a Proven Winners Botanical Trail at Rockcastle River Trading Company,” says Carloftis.

For more information, visit Carloftis’ website or the Proven Winners website.

Source: Proven Winners