Old Taylor Distillery, founded in 1897, was the absolute original distillery built with tourism in mind. After going defunct in the early 1970s, it sat deserted and crumbling. But now, two young entrepreneurs, Will Arvin and Wes Murray and Wes Murray have purchased this 83 acre historic property and are working on big plans to bring visitors back so they can once again enjoy this unbelievable place. 

A small batch distillery will be up and running in the near future and Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens is restoring the grounds including the famous sunken garden (garden in progress) that will be used for an event space. Our next project is starting on the botanic trail which will meander throughout the whole property.

This distillery is about much more than bourbon. This is a treasure with future plans to include a restaurant, event spaces and tours to host people from all over the world. We are thrilled to be a part of it. 

This site is currently closed to the public.

Have a look at a little video tour of The Old Taylor Distillery:


We like to start them early. She’s gonna be just like her dads!


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A good time was had by all!

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After a hugely successful talk as guest speaker at the Grand Garden Event at the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, we were invited to give a Maker’s Mark bourbon tasting at the Manoogian Family home and gardens on the island. Ann Evans, executive director of the Kentucky Govenor’s Mansion, came along with us and brought her famous cheese straws and country ham with clove butter on a biscuit as nibbles for the cocktail party guests.

We toasted with the new, as yet to be release, Maker’s Mark “Cask Strength” Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky. If you look closely on everyone’s face in these photos, you can tell that this will be a huge hit all over the world!

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Can you believe the transformation
in just 5 days?






The Governor and First Lady asked us to design and build a Centennial Memorial Garden in time to help celebrate generous donors (such as the Toyota company for $100,000) and many others who have generously donated toward the upkeep of the most beautiful Governor’s Mansion in the United States. We got right to work and in just 5 days the garden was ready for their “100 Years of Music at the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion” concert. 

Please come visit our state and the gorgeous Proven Winners Signature Garden here at the Governor’s Mansion. 



A wild rain storm and loss of electric didn’t dampen the spirits on August 20, at my 50th birthday/re-elect Jim Gray party. Even with candle light, we toured the gardens and house with a Maker’s Mark sidecar in our hands. There’s nothing like a natural calamity to really get a party going!

Over 200 people came to support our forward thinking mayor Jim Gray despite the whole city including all  stop lights being shut down from the electrical storm.

We raised over $20,000 in one short cocktail party. With elections not over yet, consider giving your support and keep our city moving in the right direction. 


Louisville Stoneware’s Third Thursdays are proving to be huge hits for after-work gatherings. When we were visiting on September 18, in just an hour and a half, we sold out almost every one of The Jon Carloftis Collection Herb Crocks available at the newly renovated showroom.

Next year Louisville Stoneware celebrates their 200th birthday. Let’s support our “Made in Kentucky, Made in the U.S.” companies that are STILL creating treasures with time-old craftsmanship.
Please visit Louisville Stoneware and see all their beautiful products.


G&G-OctNov14In their latest issue, our good friends over at Garden & Gun magazine were so kind as to mention in their Sourthern Agenda section) a little something about our special event at The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida on November 5th. This event will include lectures on “Art in the Garden and Nature as Art” and “Style in the Garden” as well as a special cocktail party featuring a Maker’s Mark Bourbon tasting!

For more information and tickets to the events you can visit
The Cummer Museum website.

And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Garden & Gun!




By now we’re sure your fall garden is a cornucopia of squash. You’ve made every dish you can think of and you’re neighbors are no longer smiling when they see you walking up to their doors with garden baskets. Fear not. We would like to invite you to Louisville Stoneware’s Third Thursday Lifestyle Series. I’ll be showing you the finer details as I demonstrate creating unforgettable fall tablescapes from your very own garden. While browsing the newly renovated Stoneware Mercantile Market, enjoy nibbles from executive chef, Jess Grace, featuring Kentucky warm apple cider and other special home cooked treats to usher in fall.

The event is complimentary so bring your friends and make reservations early by calling 502.582.1900 or on the Louisville Stoneware Facebook Page.

Each guest will receive a complimentary planting with the purchase of a Jon Carloftis garden crock.


Thursday, September 18, 2014
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Louisville Stoneware
Located in Historic Paristown Pointe
731 Brent Street
Louisville, KY 40204

See you there!




This is just one stop on our Garden Talk Tour this year.
To see where we’ll be next, check out our calendar online!

Learn more about Bouley Botanical:





We love Lexington…

And who wouldn’t with all of the great things happening to our city! Fantastic restaurants and breweries and distilleries and historic renovation and green space… Lexington is on Fire!

But I also remember being in school at the University of Kentucky in the early ‘80s and never would have imagined coming home to live in Lexington until Jim Gray and many others started making it better. We thank you. Let’s invest in our future and keep Mayor Jim Gray in office… A person with a real vision for Lexington.

On a secondary note, August 20th is my 50th birthday and instead of spending money on gifts, put the money to good use and donate to the Jim Gray for Mayor re-election campaign!

Come tour the gardens and house with fun friends from all over, have delicious barbeque, craft bourbon cocktails — all the while supporting our friend who is making Lexington simply, the place to be!

Call 859.252.4729 – or email Bryan@MayorJimGray.com with any questions!
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