Plant Your Wagon: Give your garden rustic charm by planting vintage wheelbarrows and wagons with eye-catching color (pages 114-121): Roll retired garden gear out of your garage and shed and into the spotlight as clever containers. Our wagons and wheelbarrows stole the show when piled high with the right combinations of beautiful plantings. Don’t worry about applying a coat of paint to breathe fresh life into your cast-off haulers. All it takes is an eye for color and a passion for plants. …read full article

Learn more about other great container | Proven Winners plant combinations during the Cincinnati Home and Garden Show starting this Saturday, February 28, 2015. I will be giving three talks during the day. And afterwards, come visit me at our Rockcastle River Trading Company center booth for a bit more garden advice and good shopping for your home and garden.


JCFG covers Collage


In the coming year, we are pleased to reintroduce you to 52 (one every week) of Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens’ BEST garden and lifestyle features in our favorite national and Kentucky magazines. There is no better time to start this series than in February when you are tired of the winter cold and longing for the announcement of Spring and the gardening season. We hope you enjoy reading these fantastic articles, as well share them with your family and friends.

Each week, look for three of Jon’s Proven Winners® Plant Favorites (annual, perennial, and shrub) perfect for your own garden.


Garden Great #1

as featured in Garden Structures


Rustic Gazebos

We built this arbor from Kentucky-grown cedar trees (Juniperus virginiana) and it was the centerpiece of the last-ever New York Flower Show. After the show, it moved to it’s new home in Lexington, Kentucky and it is the focal point in this small back yard.

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“… everyone acquires character by getting
a little rough around the edges.”

Read or download the full article here…


Marguerite Daisy
Vanilla Butterfly®
Marguerite Daisy
Argyranthemum frutescens

Crimson Curls
Crimson Curls
Coral Bells
Heuchera hybrid

Smooth Hydrangea
Hydrangea arborescens 

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



When visiting this beautiful, pristine farm in Bourbon County, Kentucky (how could you not love this place with a name like that?) little Gertrude, our seven month old labrador, ran away into a fenced area to start communicating with the young calves. She would not return. Suddenly I had flashbacks of growing up with big bulls chasing my friends and I up a tree in the fields. But, much to my amazement, they replied back, along with a kiss from the most affectionate calf. It was very sweet to watch. Like a flock of birds, the calves moved together to follow Gertie’s next move. Animal Planet in real time…


Enjoying a few days off from garden installations during one of Kentucky’s worst winter storms. Historic Botherum was covered in nine inches of snow overnight, leaving gorgeous views outside every window in the house.

It’s hard to believe the first day of Spring is a little over a month away, and we will be busy planting new Proven Winners® shrubs, annuals, and perennials to create a Proven Winners Southern Test Garden here at historic Botherum.

There will be three opportunities for the public to visit Botherum this year during the Proven Winners Life+Style Series we are hosting in 2015. Hoping to see then.


cincinatti collage

Hibernating for the winter?

Well it’s time to get out
and plan for spring time!

Join us at the Cincinnati Home & Garden Show on Saturday, February 28th where I’ll be giving a series of talks that will have your ready for the Spring Thaw!

Garden Talks by Jon Carlofts:

12:00 pm – New & Exciting Plants for Your Garden
3:00 pm – Perfect Container Garden Combinations
6:00 pm – Style in the Garden with Reclaimed & Repurposed Treasures

This show is Cincinnati’s largest and longest running spring showcase with an amazing array of the area’s newest and innovative home products and services!

Whether you are a current homeowner, planning to buy or build a new home, or just seeing what’s hot, join the 100′s of thousands of greater Cincinnatians that have used the Cincinnati Home & Garden Show® since 1969 as an important source of upgrading their homes & gardens.

The show runs from February 28 through March 8th. Hope to see you there!

For more details, visit the full schedule here.

Get tickets here:

RRTC product Collage

We’ll also be at the Rockcastle River Trading Co. booth during the show, so please stop by and say hello!



Heading down to Orlando for this VERY COOL show and hope you all can attend if you live nearby or on vacation during this time.  Giving two informative and entertaining talks as well as running the Maker’s Mark Bourbon Tasting and Cocktail Party which will be a blast!  Come on down!

Get your tickets here:



While visiting Palm Springs for 8 days for New Years Eve, I slept around 15 hours a night for the first 5 days. 2014 has been a wild and wooly ride with all the projects we are doing and keeping up with our business in NYC in it’s 25th year!!! And then we had the wonderful, interesting and gratifying projects here in Kentucky such as Maker’s Mark Distillery, Old Taylor Distillery (a 500 acre farm on the Kentucky River) and our ongoing gardens at Botherum… just to name a few.

However… whenever visiting a place it’s a MUST to go see the local “famous garden” to take the time to see how things are done in a different place. We were so taken by Sunnylands, a haven for almost every U.S. President to visit and conduct meetings since the 1960’s. Their new welcome center and museum is surrounded by a truly amazing garden, newly built and will make a cacti lover out of you, whether you like them or not! Very little water consumption, dramatic plantings and interesting water features all come together for a memorable experience.

If you are ever in southern California, please don’t miss a visit this property.





Although we occasionally get big snows here in Kentucky, they are small compared to the Nor’Easters we get at the farmhouse in a Bucks County, PA. They come in with such fury that it’s impossible to even walk or drive and in a few hours, have several feet of snow. Here are some photos of the property when things are just starting up.

Even in the worst of winter, the garden can be beautiful. Notice the Louisville Stoneware Birdhouses that can stay outside year round, giving a POP of color in the gray landscape.







Last weekend, Eastern Kentucky University bestowed upon Jon Carloftis the title of Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humanities. He feels incredibly honored by this nice gesture.

In the words of EKU’s president, Michael T. Benson…

“A distinguished son of Kentucky whose love affair with nature is rooted in his childhood along the banks of the Rockcastle River; a nationally known award-winning garden designer whose rooftop gardens for celebrity residences in New York City earned him the title ‘Gardener to the Stars’; and a wonderful ambassador for his beloved home state whose work will soon grace the campus of Eastern Kentucky University, which is proud to honor him.”




We are going to be stopping by the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion for this one… wouldn’t miss it for the world! We thought you might like to know about it too! Pass it on!