My Old Kentucky Home

Register now

CANCELLED – Friday, October 2 ~ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
~ 341 Madison Place Lexington, KY
Private Cocktail Party for attendees of the LIFE + STYLE presentations



Saturday, October 3 ~ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
My Old Kentucky Home ~ Bardstown, KY
LIFE + STYLE presentations

Price: $125.00 per person
Table of Eight ~ $900.00 (10% savings)


  • Breakfast ~ Prepared by Harrison-Smith House of Bardstown.
  • Inspiring lifestyle presentations.
  • Lunch ~ Prepared by Harrison-Smith House of Bardstown.
  • Incredible swag bag!
  • Maker’s Mark Bourbon Tasting.


Saturday, October 3
October 3, 2015 9:00 am - 9:30 am

Continental Breakfast

October 3, 2015 9:00 am - 9:30 am

Tom Ewing ~ Great New Plants for 2016

October 3, 2015 9:30 am - 10:00 am

Thomas Smarr ~ Kentucky’s Building of Future Green Parks

October 3, 2015 10:00 am - 10:30 am

Matthew Bailey ~ Planning the Future of My Old Kentucky Home

October 3, 2015 10:30 am - 11:00 am

Todd Kelly ~ How to Use Natives in the Garden

October 3, 2015 11:00 am - 11:15 am


October 3, 2015 11:15 am - 11:45 am

Wren Smith ~ Gardening for Enchantment

October 3, 2015 11:45 am - 12:15 pm

Richard Weber ~ Effective Landscape Design from a Landscape Architect’s Perspective

October 3, 2015 12:15 pm - 12:45 pm

Steve Smith ~ Louisville Stoneware

October 3, 2015 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm


~ Provided by Harrison-Smith House of Bardstown.

October 3, 2015 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Margie Witt ~ Proven Winners from the Garden Center Perspective

October 3, 2015 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Jane Beggs-Joles ~ New Proven Winners Varieties for the Kentucky Landscape

October 3, 2015 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Zeke Cooper and Jake Scott ~ A Tour of the Cherokee Casino Gardens

October 3, 2015 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Jon Carloftis and Pat Seibel ~ My Old Kentucky Home Garden Tour

~ Maker’s Mark Bourbon Tasting in the garden with Rob Samuels


Jon Carloftis

Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens

Garden Topics:

Proven Winners Favorites

Kentucky native, Jon Carloftis, award-winning garden designer, garden writer, television guest, author, and lecturer, is a great American gardener. His career in gardening began in 1988, far from home in New York City where he became one of America’s pioneers and leading authorities in rooftop/small space gardening. 

Jon grew up on the banks of the Rockcastle River in South Central Kentucky, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It was there he began a love affair with nature. Jon is the owner of the Rockcastle River Trading Company, a popular home and garden store located on his family’s property in Livingston, Kentucky.  The beautiful gardens, designed by Jon, that surround the Carloftis home and store have been featured in Story, Sophisticated Living, BMW Magazine, Country Home, Garden & Gun, Outdoor Rooms, and Southern Living.

Be sure to check out the article on historic Botherum in the April 2015 issue of Southern Living!

Thomas Smarr

21st Century Parks

Garden Topics:

"The Future of Urban Parks': 'The Challenges of Managing Modern Urban Parks”

Tom is a seasoned professional with two decades of experience in horticulture, botanic gardens, conservation, and organic landscaping. He holds a master’s degree in urban horticulture from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.  He has worked for established institutions such as the University of Washington Botanic Gardens in Seattle, WA and New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham, MA. But Tom’s most notable work has been leading the management of horticulture at newly urban designed parks starting with the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston, MA built on top of the infamous “Big Dig” and the High Line in New York City as the Director of Horticulture.

He has recently joined 21st Century Parks in Louisville, KY to work on design and management of horticulture for another modern model park. He is committed to the preservation of our cultural landscapes through sensible design, horticulture practices, and public education.

Photo Credit ~ Liz Ligon

Matthew Bailey

Director ~ My Old Kentucky Home

Garden Topics:

My OId Kentucky Home

Does the future call for a “New Kentucky Home?” My Old Kentucky Home State Park’s new director Matthew Colin Bailey demonstrates through his past career projects how historic spaces and tired venues can be revitalized through reinventing the guest experience based upon thoughtful and meaningful redesigns.

Trained as a preservation architect in combination with career experience in hospitality, marketing, and advertising, Matthew’s work centers on an exploration of the possibilities that emerge when technology, trends, art, design, and data integrate to form beloved attractions and products.

Formerly a lead designer at Chad James Group in Nashville, Tennessee, Matthew led in the creation of custom residences and furnishings for clients in the music and entertainment industry. While at Belle Meade Plantation Historic Site as the Preservation & Site Enhancement Manager, he designed and developed innovative strategies that helped to reform the house museum & park into a thriving business with extraordinary revenue and record visitation.

Todd Kelly

Kelly Nursery

Garden Topics:

How to use Natives in the Garden

Todd is a gardener and self taught nurseryman who founded Kelly Nursery LLC in 1998.

Currently the nursery grows a wide variety of perennials, including an array of species (and their cultivars) native to the eastern United States. Plants are selected for their adaptability, ornamental attributes, and attractiveness to wildlife.  Kelly thinks of perennials and grasses, planted in masses and drifts, as an integral part of garden design. Among natives that the nursery is most excited about are varieties and species of Panicum and Carex.  In 2012 Kelly moved its sales operation to Lexington’s industrial center making it one of the few urban wholesale nurseries in the US. In addition to perennials and grasses the nursery now offers woody ornamentals and unique specimen plants.

Wren Smith

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Garden Topics:

Gardening for Enchantment

From the time she was knee high to a cricket, Wren has had a passion for the natural world. Almost anything that hopped flew or grew, captured Wren’s eye and her imaginings. Serving as Bernheim’s Interpretive Programs Manager since 2000, the bulk of her work involves training a cadre of Volunteer Naturalists who advance Bernheim’s mission of connecting people to nature.  Wren has consistently demonstrated multiple talents as gifts that just keep on giving to Bernheim, to Kentucky, and across the nation.

In her 30-year career, she has been recognized as a poet, artist, writer, storyteller, creative innovator and inspiring  speaker and trainer.  Wren was awarded Master Front-Line Interpreter by the National Association for Interpretation in 2011 and Naturalist of the Year by the Kentucky Society of Natural History in 2010.  Passionate about nature in general, Wren’s enthusiasm shines extra bright when speaking of plants, gardens, and gardening. Despite being personally grounded, Wren believes that adding a bit of playfulness or whimsy can create a culture that supports and sustains and lifelong love of the natural world.

Stephen Smith


Stephen A. Smith became the steward of Louisville Stoneware in 2007. The Stoneware team executed on Brown’s vision and continued the tradition of Louisville Stoneware boosting custom, corporate, wholesale, retail and internet sales while educating customers on the manufacturing process, artistry, durability and functionality of Stoneware pottery. As a small, locally owned business with just over three-dozen employees, the product that the Stoneware Art Factory makes in its Paristown Pointe factory is used by customers around the country and the world. As the team takes one of the last remaining great American pottery companies into its third century of business, an important part of the company’s mission is to bring awareness to its rich history and to the artists who hand make and hand paint every piece.

“While we look toward the future, we are always respectful of the past,” said Smith. “I am honored to be part of this Great American Treasure. Everyone on the team at Stoneware is dedicated to creating a great experience for the most important people in our company…our CUSTOMERS.”

The company looks forward to celebrating its 200th Anniversary in business in 2015.

Richard Weber

Springhouse Gardens

Garden Topics:

Effective Landscape Design from a Landscape Architect's Perspective

Richard J. Weber is a native of Lexington, who has been a gardener for as long as he can remember. With Landscape Architecture degrees from the University of Kentucky and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Richard has over 30 years of professional and practical experience in the art and science of growing plants and creating gardens. For the past 20 years, Richard has been creating Springhouse Gardens just south of Lexington, Kentucky.

Springhouse Gardens is a unique garden center and landscape company specializing in rare and unusual plants and personalized garden design and installation services. Weber and his talented staff have transformed an old tobacco farm into a wonderful shopping experience. Comprised of 13 acres, Springhouse Gardens showcases beautiful gardens, dry-laid limestone walls and other landscape features all in a rustic rural setting.

Margie Witt

Ammon Nursery

Garden Topics:

Proven Winners From The Garden Center Perspective

Ammon Nursery is located in Burlington, Kentucky and has been growing trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses and perennials since 1950. After years of being a wholesale provider, they opened their doors to the public as well in 2010 and have been enjoying educating homeowners on the perfect plants ever since!

Margie has the best job at the nursery: doing all the fun things no one else has time to do! She has a 15 year background in both residential and commercial landscaping. At Ammon Nursery she is responsible for sales, marketing, social media, community education, as well as helping homeowners design and install their own landscaping projects.

She serves on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Nursery and Landscape Association and enjoys presenting plant information and design ideas to garden clubs, master gardeners, horticulture students, and anyone interested in learning about gardening.


Zeke Cooper and Jake Scott

Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort

Garden Topics:

Our Commitment to a Quality Landscape Presentation

Zeke Cooper, PLA, ASLA ~ Zeke was introduced to landscape architecture while working with famed golf course architect Tom Fazio in Hendersonville, NC. From there, he took a position with the world’s largest landscape contractor, ValleyCrest Landscape Development in Atlanta, GA. During his time with ValleyCrest, Zeke worked in a variety of different departments such as estimating, project management and the fieldwork department. After graduating with his Master of Landscape Architecture degree, Zeke took a position with Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort to manage the landscape design and implementation of the 650 million dollar expansion in 2011. Currently, Zeke is the landscape architect and construction manager for the new Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy, NC. While designing the landscape for both properties, Zeke ensures that Cherokee culture plays an important role through plant species selections, colors, textures and various landscape elements.

In addition to Harrah’s, Zeke is also a managing partner of Cooper|Stewart Landscape Architecture, with offices in Cherokee, NC and Knoxville, TN. CSLA specializes in projects based around Cherokee culture, working with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on numerous projects, as well as other projects throughout the region.

Jacob E. Scott, CLT, PGMS ~ Jake got his start in the industry working and interning at Trillium Links and Lake Club in Cashiers, North Carolina (with co-presenter, Zeke Cooper). After graduating from Berea College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, he went to work at Headwaters Golf Club. In 2011, Jake took the position of Head Landscaper at the Country Club of Sapphire Valley, and oversaw a complete renovation of the clubhouse grounds over the next two years. In April of 2013, Jake once again teamed up with Zeke Cooper at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort in Cherokee, North Carolina. In that time, the Casino landscape has grown to include an annual flower installation exceeding 50,000 plants as well as nearly two acres of ornamental turf grass and more than 350 varieties of both native and non-native trees and shrubs. Most recently, the Harrah’s Landscape team has begun the first phase of the landscape installation at the newest Caesars Property, Harrah’s Casino Valley River. The new property is slated to open in the fall of 2015.


Rob Samuels – COO Maker’s Mark

Maker's Mark

Garden Topics:

The Distinctive Craft and Heritage of Maker's Mark

The Samuels Family has been producing whisky longer than any other family in the world. Rob Samuels is continuing the family legacy as an 8th generation bourbon distiller and upholding the traditions of craft and quality established by his father, Bill Samuels, Jr., and grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr. – the founder of Maker’s Mark.

Rob has spent time working every job at the distillery; from the milling, cooking and fermentation of the grains to distillation, warehousing, bottling and even the dipping line where every bottle gets its signature red wax seal. All of this experience has given him a unique understanding of the distinctive craft and heritage that is the legacy of Maker’s Mark.

In 2010, he was appointed COO of Maker’s Mark, taking over the reins from his father, Chairman Emeritus Bill Samuels, Jr., in overseeing the leadership, guardianship and marketing of Maker’s Mark.

Jane Beggs-Joles

Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.

Garden Topics:

New Proven Winners Varieties for the Kentucky Landscape

Jane Beggs-Joles began her horticultural career at River Farm, headquarters of the American Horticultural Society, where she worked as a gardener and intern for two warm, humid northern Virginia summers. Despite the charms of that Potomac estate, she felt called to migrate to a cooler climate, and so moved to Michigan to earn her B.S. in horticulture from Michigan State University. After working in Extension laboratories during her undergraduate degree Jane decided to learn how to sell the plants she had trained to grow, and undertook an M.S. degree in agricultural economics. Armed with a thesis about consumer preferences for fresh market apples, she went to work for the large ornamental grower, Zelenka Nursery. After three years of selling heavy, field-dug evergreens, Jane made the back-saving decision to work for Spring Meadow Nursery, a prominent liner grower.

In her sixteen years at Spring Meadow, Jane has had the good fortune to help introduce hundreds of exciting new plants to the horticulture industry. As the northern-most hydrangea breeder in North America, Spring Meadow Nursery is at the forefront of horticultural innovation. “I learn something new every day. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that our work makes better gardens possible for everyone (including non-gardeners).” Jane’s current position enables her to enjoy two of her passions: excellent plants and well-organized spreadsheets. She firmly believes that there is a botanical answer to any landscape situation, and strives to make it easy for people to choose the right plant in the right place.

Tom Ewing

Proven Winners

Garden Topics:

Great New Plants for 2015 ~ How a Plant Becomes a Proven Winners

As a wholesale nursery grower, Tom grew and sold many of the early Proven Winners plant introductions. With a primary focus on landscape firms, commercial properties, and landscape architects, his nursery supplied landscape professionals with some of the earliest Proven Winners plant introductions.

Having sold the business in 1998, Tom now devotes most of his time to developing landscape and commercial property opportunities with Proven Winners. Helping to guide the development of their Landscape Program, Tom has the privilege of working closely with many talented landscape professionals, nurseries and growers, and many notable properties throughout the country.


If any of your questions cannot be answered here, don’t hesitate to contact Proven Winners via the contact form below.

You may also contact us at:

Phone: 815-899-1973


When and Where will the LIFE + STYLE Event be held?


Saturday venue:

October 3
My Old Kentucky Home
501 E. Stephen Foster Ave.
Bardstown, KY 40004

What is the cost of the LIFE + STYLE Events?

Day Event: $125.00 per person

Table of Eight: $900.00 (10% savings)


How do I register for the LIFE + STYLE Events?

You can register online at Proven Winners or by calling 815-899-1973.

Will I receive a ticket for the LIFE + STYLE Event?

No, tickets are not mailed. You will receive an email confirmation once you have completed registration.

A name tag will be waiting for you when you provide your name at the door!

What if I register and for some reason can’t come?

Your registration is transferable.

To transfer your seat to another guest, please call the Proven Winners office at 815-899-1973 and we will be happy to change the name on the registration.


Recommended Hotel Accommodations

Comfort Inn
984 Frost Ave.
Bardstown, KY 40004

Hampton Inn
985 Chambers Blvd.
Bardstown, KY 40004

What is the dress attire?

Smart casual.
Comfortable shoes are recommended.

Are there options for my dietary requirements?

A vegetarian meal option is available. You can make that choice when you register at Proven Winners.

Will there be special accommodations for those with physical limitations?

All locations are handicapped accessible.


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