Proven Winners Design Competition at Provender Nurseries - NOW CLOSED

Competition is now closed. Thank you for all of the applications. We wish you the best of luck.

Provender Nurseries have an amazing opportunity for you.

As a result of recent expansion into a new multi-stem Paddock field on site, we now have a new large border on our driveway ready to be planted. This is where you come in!

We are offering our customers an opportunity to create a design for our new border using plants only from the Proven Winners® range with the Proven Winners Design Competition at Provender Nurseries.

The winning design, using Proven Winners® plants will be planted up as a living display on our driveway by the competition winner supported by the Provender Nurseries team.

The Brief

  • The design is to have maximum impact and will be used as a demonstration and educational area
  • The design will comprise plants from the Proven Winners® range. The plants list can be found here
  • The plant choice should reflect all year-round interest
  • A 2m turf border will be installed around the front of the border
  • The area to be designed is 116m2
  • The aspect is North West with the border receiving shade in the morning and sun in the afternoon
  • The soil type is free draining, loamy soil on top of chalk
  • The planted border is on the main entrance to Provender Nurseries. Vehicle sightlines on the driveway and access to the Paddock field will need to be considered
  • Existing planting, hedging and boulders will remain
  • Access to the border will be from the Paddock tree field to the rear of the border through the Taxus hedge. Part of the existing Taxus hedging plants can be removed according to the winning design
  • Paths would need to be incorporated in order to show clients around
  • Maintenance of the planted border will be carried out by Provender Nurseries
  • Provender Nurseries will incorporate an irrigation system when planted. Please consider this in your design


  • The competition is open to customers of Provender Nurseries only
  • If you are not a customer of Provender Nurseries you can sign up for a trade account here
  • All submissions must be in PDF format, printable to A3. 
  • Each application should be a maximum of 5 pages to include:
    • an annotated planting plan (A3)
    • plant list with pot sizes and quantities (A3)
    • perspective view of the design (at 3 years maturity) (A3)
    • a design brief (A4)
    • Supporting document of 200 words to explain the concept and plant choice (A4)
  • All applications should be emailed to
  • All applications should be received by 5pm on Monday January 8th
  • The winning design will be selected by our judges on Thursday January 18th
  • The winning design will be informed on Friday January 19th
  • The winning design will be announced to the trade press on Monday February 5th

Small Print 

  • The judging panel, at present will be Richard Burt, Sales Director at Provender Nurseries, a representative from Proven Winners and Mark Lane, TV presenter and garden designer.
  • Designs submitted using plants other than Proven Winners® will not be considered for judging
  • The winning design will receive press coverage with press releases and social media. Please fill in this form to consent for images to be used
  • Plant choice from the selected winning design may be subject to change depending on availability
  • You will need to be available for planting in March/ April
  • The winning design will be announced via trade press and Provender Nurseries news channels
  • Signage will be placed in the Proven Winners® bed for 1 year from the planting date giving the winners details

Richard Burt


Esther Wientjens

Mark Lane

Judges Bios

Richard Burt

Richard Burt has worked at Provender Nurseries since 2007, starting as a Sales Manager and working towards his present role as Sales Director.

Richard left college with an ND in Horticulture and has spent all of his working life in the industry, mainly working in nurseries and wholesale plant supply. As a result, Richard has extensive plant knowledge and is always keen to learn more about all plants in general.

Working closely with the management team and purchasing teams Richard looks for new varieties to hold in stock and encourages all of the team at Provender Nurseries to keep up to date with new varieties.

Quote: "The Proven Winners Design Competition at Provender Nurseries is an excellent opportunity for one of our customers to create a living testimonial using Proven Winners plants, showcasing their design in a prominent position here on site.

We encourage entries from across the spectrum of our customers and are keen to see what plants are used from the Proven Winners® list."

Esther Wientjens

Esther Wientjens is the Marketing Manager at Valkplant, a family-owned company with a long background in horticulture, dating back to 1887 when Esther's great-grandfather founded his nursery W. van der Poel.

As an agency, Valkplant specialises in finding, introducing and protecting new plant varieties. Valkplant is also the coordinator of the Proven Winners® European shrub program which was launched in 2016.

Esther studied Business Administration at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She started her career in FMCG working in various sales & marketing jobs, returning to her 'horticultural' roots in 2016 to work on the launch of the Proven Winners shrubs program in Europe.


Mark Lane

Mark Lane is an award-winning Garden and Landscaper Designer, Broadcaster and Author.

Mark is the gardening expert on BBC One's Morning Live.

He has also presented for BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World and is one of the presenting team for the BBC’s coverage of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show. In addition, Mark hosts his own shows on QVC.

Mark has written for various magazines such as Country Living, House Beautiful and Waitrose Weekend as well as The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and the Guardian. Mark's first book, Royal Gardens of the World was published by Hachette in September 2020.

Quote: "I'm really excited to be judging Provender Nurseries' Proven Winners Design Competition this year. There was a lot of excitement at Provender's Problem Solving Plants event in October when we launched the competition. This is an exciting opportunity for a designer or horticulturalist with design aspirations to turn a large area in a prime position as you enter Provender Nurseries into a new border.

I'll be looking out for good plant knowledge and great plant combinations, as well as an exciting overall design taking inspiration from a limited range of Proven Winners, while following the design brief, the aspect, the soil and any restrictions close to existing neighbouring plants. I urge all designers to think about using layers, both horizontally and vertically, incorporating a wide mix of plants from the chosen list to encourage biodiversity and safety, considering the proximity of the driveway.  

This is a border that needs to look good for 12 months of the year, so think about structure, flower, shape, form, colour, scent and texture with interest for every season. First and foremost, I hope everyone that enters has fun and learns along the way. I cannot wait to see the range of designs!"


  • Launch date – Oct 11th
  • Closing Date – Monday January 8th
  • Judging Date – Thursday January 18th
  • Winner Announcement Date – Monday February 5th
  • Planting Date – March / April 2024 TBC

Why Proven Winners?

Provender Nurseries first introduced the Proven Winners® range around four years ago with much success. 

The Proven Winners® range is the result of years of plant breeding to produce quality plants with many attractive qualities for landscapers, garden designers, landscape architects and all areas where quality shrubs would be used.

Proven Winners® have been bred to have:

  • Longer flowering periods making them an attractive source of food for pollinators
  • Compact growth habits making them an excellent choice for domestic gardens, parks and urban areas
  • Great drought tolerance and cold tolerance resulting in a plant that can stand up to our ever-changing climate
  • Pest and disease resistance resulting in less chemical applications required
  • Multiple seasons of interest make them an invaluable choice to provide interest for long periods of time
  • Low maintenance requirements
  • Proven Winners® are an excellent choice for both the domestic and commercial market with low maintenance requirements, compact growth habits and pest and disease resistance

Spiraea Double Play Gold

Hydrangea arb Pinkachu

Calycanthus Aphrodite

Diervilla Kodiak Red

Abelia Pinky Bell

Chaenomeles 'Scarlet Storm'