Join us at Old Taylor Distillery for the Next LIFE+STYLE event of the season…



While the rejuvenation process is still ongoing, Old Taylor Distillery will soon be welcoming visitors back for the first time in over 40 years. Old Taylor has a unique history, being the first bourbon distillery to open its doors to visitors as far back as the 1880’s, where tourist arrived by train to see this one-of-a-kind place.

Before joining the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail, we invite you to experience its transformation from beautiful decay to a renewed Kentucky treasure, showcased at our third Proven Winners Life + Style event on September 12th 2015.

Similar to our two previous SOLD OUT Life + Stye events, we have gathered a host of elite speakers to present inspiring ideas on gardening, lifestyle and entertaining. A beautiful breakfast and lunch will be served… along with guided tours of garden works-in-progress including the Sunken Garden, Botanic Trail, and Peristyle Herb Garden.

To kick things off, join us the night before (Friday, September 11, 2015) at our home and gardens at historic Botherum for a cocktail party and garden tour of the Proven Winners Southern Test Garden.

For more information on schedules and speakers please visit where you can also register for this event. Just click here…

These 2-day events are an enjoyable way for you to learn, to get inspired and to have a whole lot of fun. We hope you can join us.

[ You can read more about Old Taylor Distillery here. ]






Rarely is there a time when a project stays true to the vision from beginning to end. It all seems like a good idea in the beginning, but after months/years of building, either money or just wanting it all over with, the vision can change. The Apiary was the dream project. The clients had their say in every decision and their taste is impeccable, so that makes it even better than left to our own devices… we love when an owner is so interested, involved AND has great taste! We believe the best gardens come out of a joint effort and The Apiary was certainly one of these… just look at the results!





When Keeneland Magazine asked us to open our home for their gorgeous magazine, we jumped at the offer. Lee Thomas did us proud with the photos and Patti Nickell sure knows how to tell a story.

Please enjoy this nice article about a most unusual home right smack dab in the middle of town!


Garden Great #20

as featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Outdoor Living | Spring 2009


Reinvent Your Driveway

We needed more party space than we needed parking so here’s what we did it with our driveway… Does this give you any creative ideas for your home?

Read or download the full article here…



Temari®  Product RGB 570x714px

Yellow Petunia

I said I would never use a petunia—until I started using Proven Winners varieties. They are self-cleaning and don’t get soggy in the rain… and oh, such unusual colors! This one reminds me of the beautiful pale yellow color Cadillacs and Packards were painted in the glamorous 1930s… very elegant.


Castle Wall™ 
Blue Holly
Ilex x meserveae

Spring Grove® Western Arborvitae Thuja plicata

Spring Grove® 
Western Arborvitae
Thuja plicata

Our Proven Winners® favorites are available at your local garden store or online at






For once, I was ahead of my time when it comes to vegetable gardening…

Our family’s small plot was one of the first things you see when you drove into the home place on the Rockcastle. Vegetables, herbs, cooking, eating and entertaining have always been high on the priority list so it wasn’t a big deal to put the vegetable garden at Botherum straight and center for all to see when they arrive. Why should the good things in life be relegated to the back of the house?

read more on our website





Because edible gardens are a passion of mine, I was thrilled to be asked to give some thoughts on an article by the most beautiful magazine around, GARDEN DESIGN.

Back in the 1990’s, I was a contributing editor for them for about 7 years and many of the stories had to do with edible gardening. My thought about most things, including gardening, is that if you take the time to do it, why not make it gorgeous and full of style.

read more on our website



Garden Great #19

as featured in Country Living | April 2010


Room to Grow

Never had a treehouse growing up like me? So build one and live out your childhood dreams! Since our house was on the smaller side up in Bucks County, PA we built the one featured here in this issue of Country Living as a great little get away for us or our guests. There’s nothing like it in the world…

Read or download the full article here…


Patricia® Ivy


When you are adding ivy to containers to drape over the edges, using regular English Ivy (Hedera helix) is just too coarse looking and large in scale with most containers. Instead, use Patricia Ivy which is more delicate, has interesting veining in the leaves and is super hardy in most climates. Even if it died back from the last two terrible winters, it will grow back in no time if you cut it back.


Rainbow Rhythm™ ‘Going Bananas’ 


To me, yellow means happiness and when you visit my personal garden, there is as much yellow as there are white flowers. I’m HAPPY! Going Bananas are so gorgeous they almost look like an exotic orchid. Plus, they just keep on blooming and blooming while getting larger each season.


Bloom-A-Thon® Pink Double
Reblooming Azalea


So, pink is not my favorite color for flowers in my own garden, however, at the Bucks County, PA farmhouse, I planted a dozen Bloom-A-Thon Pink Double Azaleas and they just get better and better each season. They are a little later blooming than other varieties which is a good feature as well.

When it comes to doubles… Double Maker’s Mark on the rocks, Double-Mint Twins… doubles are always the way to go!



Our Proven Winners® favorites are available at your local garden store or online at



Garden Great #18

as featured in Better Homes & Gardens – Garden Rooms Issue | Summer 2006


Water Music

This was a story we did on water features ranging from inexpensive on up. Water in the garden makes a huge difference! If you’ve never tried it before, see if some of these ideas will inspire you…



Read or download the full article here…


Vogue® 'Ginger' Mandevilla hybrid

Vogue® ‘Ginger’ 


Mandevillia is the perfect summer vine because the hotter it gets, the better it gets. They are especially perfect for smaller ornamental urns as they can take extreme heat and are forgiving if you forget a watering…

Brightside Shasta Daisy Leucanthemum superbum

Shasta Daisy


I’ve always been disappointed with Shasta Daisies because they get too tall and fall over, making the garden a mess. Not with Proven Winners varieties. They are compact, huge bloomers and nothing says happiness like a daisy in the garden.

Intensia® Orchid Blast Phlox hybrid

Intensia® Orchid Blast 


For perennial borders, nothing beats old fashioned Phlox in the middle of the border. This Proven Winners variety is showy, fragrant and mildew resistant. A real winner!

Our Proven Winners® favorites are available at your local garden store or online at



Canal House Cooking is back again!

…and this time to throw a FIESTat Maker’s Mark!


Some of you recently tasted the delightful nibbles that my friends, Christopher Hirshiemer and Melissa Hamilton of Canal House Cooking, put together for the LIFE+STYLE event cocktail party here at Botherum. Well, if you can’t get enough of their amazing food (or if you somehow missed the party!) you have another chance.

Canal House & Maker’s Mark Distillery are putting on 2 events later this month that Momma, my brother Buzz, Dale and I are looking forward to attending. They have brought in the incredible award-winning chef, Rick Bayless, to Kentucky with a dinner Friday night and a fiesta on Saturday that you won’t want to miss! Hope to see you there!

Read on for more details…

Friday, July 24th 5:30pm

Maker’s Mark Distillery, Loretto, Kentucky

Six-time James Beard Award winner and host of the long-running TV show “Mexico: One Plate at a Time”, Rick Bayless, chef/owner of Chicago’s Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, will be honored at a very special dinner at the Maker’s Mark Distillery, featuring the wonderful flavors of Mexico.Sip Maker’s Mark-erita cocktails on the Terrace overlooking the Distillery grounds while Lexington’s own Tee Dee Young and his Band pay homage to Chicago blues, Kentucky style.

Join us for a singular dining experience when authentic Mexican food meets authentic Kentucky bourbon. Each guest will receive a complimentary autographed copy of More Mexican Everyday (Norton, 2015) with dinner.


Maker’s Mark-erita
Agua Fresca

Hors d’oeuvres

Bite-Size Chipotle Meatballs
Grilled Tostados with Bacon-Avocado Mayo and Tomatoes
Pickled Tomatillo Salad with Pumpkin Seeds in Little Gem Lettuces
Empanadas de Mole Amarillo
Picadillo-Stuffed Jalapeños

Tasting Menu

Chorizo and Potato Stuffed Ancho Chiles

Golden Squash Blossom Soup

Spicy Mushroom Tamales

Grilled Salmon with Escabeche

Roast Duck with Oaxacan Black Mole

Maker’s Mark & Dulce de Leche Ice Cream (from The Bent Spoon)
Mexican Chocolate Truffles

$200.00 per person


For more info or to buy tickets:


Saturday, July 25th 3:30 – 7:30

Maker’s Mark Distillery, Loretto, Kentucky


FIESTAMexican Food + Fun Festival on the Grounds
with Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless 


Who wouldn’t love a Mexican fiesta in the heart of Kentucky? Great food. Live music. Join us Saturday on the beautiful grounds at the historic Maker’s Mark Distillery for a delicious, fun-filled afternoon and an opportunity to meet our honored guest, TV personality and Mexican cooking authority, master-chef Rick Bayless, who will be signing his wonderful new cookbook, More Mexican Every Day (Norton, 2015).

Anyone who enjoys authentic Mexican flavors like tacos filled with slow-smoked pork with ancho barbecue sauce, grilled corn on the cob with chile mayonnaise rolled in queso, bright shrimp ceviche, and refreshing watermelon agua fresca, will get their fill. Stretch out on the grass, or get up and dance while the live Mariachi band plays on. Enjoy a cone of the best-tasting dulce de leche ice cream in the world. Ever had a margarita made with Maker’s Mark? Here’s your chance. How about donning a sombrero and capturing yourself with the latest photo booth experience?

Grab a friend. Bring your family. You won’t want to miss out on this unique experience at Maker’s Mark—a place that always feels like home!

$30 per person
For more info or to buy tickets:

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, along came the sold out Proven Winners LIFE+STYLE Solstice Celebration event at the Governor’s Mansion hosted by yours truly. It was off the charts!

The rain was hardly even noticed as our guests were captivated by the knowledge and the expertise of our panel of speakers. I would even venture to say that the rain actually made the gardens look even richer and more vibrant for the visitors to enjoy! Everyone seemed to love the new 30 minute session format which the speakers used to pack their talks with super-informative information that was easy to understand and take-away. There was so much to learn about Monarch butterflies, the importance of bees, indoor and outdoor entertaining, creating tablescapes from the garden and so much more. And of course, the food was over the top! The wonderful chefs at the mansion were on their game as they helped make the day even more enjoyable.

We closed with a Kentucky bourbon toast to the history of Bulleit Bourbon and the success of the day with Betsy Bulleit’s famous “BLT” (Bulleit, Lemon, Tonic).

As Executive Director of the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion, Ann Evans says:

“You know an event was great and the ‘talk of the town’ when you’ve already started to get calls about when is it going to be next year!”

The bonus of the whole day was, of course, that we were later told that the event has now put the First Lady’s preservation fund over the $1 million mark, ensuring a brighter future for the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion for years to come.

Just a quick reminder that we still have two more LIFE+STYLE events coming up later this year at Old Taylor Distillery on Sept. 12th and My Old Kentucky Home/Maker’s Mark Distillery on Oct. 3rd. I know it seems a bit early to be spreading the word, but because these first two events sold out pretty quickly (unfortunately, we had to turn some people away) we just want to make sure you don’t miss out. You can get tickets now at:

Here’s a look through scenes from throughout this wonderful day day.