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!



Looking for an easy gift for your gardening gals? Industry peeps – want to dress up your office? We recommend the 2015 wall calendar from Proven Winners! This year, they are featuring gorgeous macrophotography of some of their newest annuals, perennials, and shrubs, focusing on both flower and foliage options for sun and shade.

$12.00 each.

For more information visit the Proven Winners Website.

Order Online at their Website



November 20 – November 22, 2014

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Well, what can we say? The Holiday Open House at Rockcastle River Trading Co. was 3 days of PURE MAGIC!

Folks were happy to wander out of the city and into the country to get a first taste of holiday spirit. We were really happy to see so many new faces as well as the faces of many old friends. And everyone learned a little something at the holiday workshops… Val from (The Queen of Bulbs!) from Three Toads Farm was so entertaining and everyone just loved her and what she taught us we can do to liven up our holiday decor!

I could go on, but the pictures on our events page tell the story better. Click here to view more photos!


My family has been going to St. Augustine, Florida since the 1940′s and Jacksonville was always close by if we ever wanted to go to a larger city for something to see and do. For some reason we had never been to the Cummer Museum but on this trip we were taken aback by the beautifully curated collection (for instance, the special exhibit of iconic dresses by famous designers and worn by famous people like Cate Blanchett… very cool!), the gorgeous gardens, and some of the finest hospitality we’ve ever experienced.

The sold out luncheon was enjoyed under the magnificent Live Oak trees and the sold out Maker’s Mark Bourbon Tasting later that evening were both SO MUCH FUN! The Kentucky-inspired food was amazing and the view on the St. John’s River was like being in a movie.

Good People + Good Bourbon = Good Times.

And guess what? We are now looking forward to the Cummer Museum Travel Group coming to visit us in Kentucky in the Spring of 2015!

We’d like to share some photos from our day…

























When it takes time and effort to make something the best it can be, it’s ALWAYS worth it. Maker’s Mark has been creating premium bourbon longer than anyone else and each batch is still made on the farm… for the whole world! So naturally Canal House (Melissa Hamilton and our next door neighbor and BFF, Christopher Hirsheimer in Bucks County, PA) fits in perfectly with Maker’s Mark and their way of doing things right.

This special luncheon sold out in 45 minutes and 20 more spaces had to be made for people on the waiting list. As soon as guests arrived they were treated to Maker’s Mark Bourbon Sidecars, Maker’s Mark Manhattans and Maker’s Mark New Fashion Old-Fashioneds. It was a European-style dinner with each course deliciously paired with the right wines. People drove from as far away as Chicago and Columbus to eat lunch with Canal House and Maker’s Mark and it was worth every mile. DELICIOUS!

Here are some of our favorite photos from the day…























{ download the Maker’s Mark cocktail recipes here }




Some unique Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens holiday decorating ideas were featured in the December issue of Southern Living Magazine! We’ll have even more great ideas AND show you how to do them in the workshops at the Rockcastle River Trading Company Holiday Open House event tomorrow (November 19th) through Saturday (November 21st). Can’t wait to see you there!

Pick up your copy of Southern Living today for more great Holiday Ideas!





This handsome pair of wooden horses (6 1/2′ tall | 2′ wide) have taken center stage in one of my favorite client’s New York courtyard garden for many years. After a brief trip to the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, they are now back east, this time resting comfortably on the front porch of my Bucks County farmhouse. They are show stoppers where ever they are. My clients are hoping to find them a new home. $5,000 / pair + shipping & handling.

Email me at for more information.

Large Wooden Horses

Large Wooden Horses

Large Wooden Horses

Large Wooden Horses

Large Wooden Horses

Large Wooden Horses

Large Wooden Horses



Please join us along with our good friend
and special guest
Valerie Schirmer of Three Toads Farm!


Thursday, Friday and Saturday
November 20, 21, 22
11am & 2pm

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Some of the topics we will cover include:

  • Forcing bulbs in time for the holidays
  • Creating beautiful tablescapes
  • Great shrubs and perennials from Proven Winners – perfect for fall planting!
  • Selecting your perfect container
  • Using indoor plants with style for a natural take on holiday decor
  • Creative ways to use your garden remains
  • Alternative colors for the holidays


All workshops are FREE!
No registration is required.

Food will be available and provided by our FAVORITE
Greek restaurant in Lexington…
Athenian Grill
so come hungry!

And follow or Facebook page to see more details as they become available!


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We are excited about a very full day of programming at The Cummer Museum in Jacksonville on Wednesday, November 5th!

There are two special events you can attend. First, during a daytime event, we will be speaking on “Art in the Garden and Nature as Art.” This talk will focus on how to integrate artwork in your personal garden and how to use trees, shrubs, stones, fish, animals, etc. as art. There will also be a wonderful luncheon (included in your ticket price) in the recently restored Olmsted Gardens located on the picturesque St. Johns River.Topping off the day with an evening event, will be a special Kentucky Bourbon Tasting along with small bites inspired by Kentucky cuisine, followed by a lecture focusing on “Style in the Garden”. Thanks to Maker’s Mark, guests will taste from the brand’s specialty collection, including, an over-matured bourbon, Maker’s White, the newest 46 Bourbon and Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon, which is only available at their Kentucky distillery.

We can’t wait to visit this amazing museum and we hope we’ll see you there! Get your tickets today at the links below:

To make your reservation over the phone, call 904.899.6038. 

Don’t delay, seating is limited and you must
RSVP by Friday, October 31, 2014!