Friday – June 13

RRTC Proven Winners Botanical Trail

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Friday & Saturday – June 13 & 14

Opening of RRTC Proven Winners Botanical Trail

10:00 am – 5:00 pm



After this harsh winter, everyone is
chomping at the bit to
head outdoors and garden.
We are in need of something green.


Here’s something to look forward to. Please mark your calendar on June 21, 2014.

Join Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens and some of our favorite partners: Jeremy Ashby (Azur Restaurant), Christopher Hirsheimer & Melissa Hamilton (Canal House Cooking), Stacey Hirvela and Pat Seibel (Proven Winners), John Morris (L.V. Harkness), Roianne Ridley (MacKenzies Florist)Daniel and Charlotte Ward (Longshadow Classic Garden Ornaments)Katy Moss Warner (America in Bloom) and of course Beth Sebastian, Sandy Perkins and grounds crew (Governor’s Mansion) in making life more beautiful at the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion Summer Solstice Garden Celebrationa celebration of our mansion’s 100 year anniversary as well the designation of it’s gardens as a Proven Winners Signature Garden, one of few in the United States.

This all-day event is packed with great food (Ann Evans, Executive Director of the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion, is preparing the menu for the morning, afternoon, and evening events); education (something for everyone including entertainment, food, garden, and historic preservation enthusiasts); and, of course, beautiful gardens (enjoy the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion and Capital, made even more colorful by the addition of our favorite Proven Winners flowers and shrubs, and limestone planters from Longshadow Classic Garden Ornaments).

Proceeds from this event go to the preservation of the most beautiful Governor’s Mansion in the nation, the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort, KY.

This event is perfect for clubs of all kinds.  Sessions are limited and will sell out quickly, so please order your tickets today.  We look forward to seeing you there.



“Rescue a Relic” (pages 28 & 29):

When you live in a small space, you have to make good use of every space. Southern Living Magazine loved what we did with a falling-down, detached garage behind our Lexington, KY Cape Cod home. Enjoy the clever ideas that made this wreck into a charming centerpiece of our backyard garden.

“Plan a Potting Shed” (pages 76 & 77):

This potting shed was first the centerpiece of a garden exhibit we installed at the Southeastern Flower Show in Atlanta, GA in the 90′s. With the shows end, it was dismantled, then moved to Jon’s family property in Livingston, KY, also the site of their home & garden store, the Rockcastle River Trading Company. It was painted an English red to match their home and other outbuildings. Come visit this beautiful store and surrounding gardens, now the site of the Rockcastle River Trading Company Proven Winners Botanical Trail, the first of its kind in the United States.

Click here to read more…



“Classic Country Gardens | Return to Rockcastle River” (pages 4-11):

In this very special issue, the editors and readers of Country Gardens Magazine have selected their all-time favorite classic country gardens. Each, according to Editor James Baggett, evoke a feeling of peace and tranquility and a harmonic balance with nature. We at Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens are thrilled that the gardens along the Rockcastle River in Livingston, KY, both the site of Jon’s family home and home and garden store, the Rockcastle River Trading Company, are number one on their list.

Jon started building these gardens at a very young age. Each year, we add more and more areas of interest. In 2014, we are pleased to open the Rockcastle River Trading Company Proven Winners Botanical Trail, a trail started by Daniel Boone (1734-1820) years ago, but now made more beautiful with some of our favorite Proven Winners shrubs, perennials and flowers. This trail is the first of its kind in the United States. The trails opens Friday, June 13, 2014.

On Saturday, April 5, the Rockcastle River Trading Company was open for business. In addition to finding great items for the home and garden, current visitors are enjoying the thousands of blooming Trillium, Bloodroot and Virginia Bluebell covering the banks of the Rockcastle River. Come visit!

Click here to read more…



Wait no longer to see the gorgeous new interior exhibit (“The Spirit of the Maker”) recently unveiled at Maker’s Mark Distillery by the most famous glass artist of our time, Dale Chihuly. It’s breathtaking, and now open to the public.

And outside, there are many changes to see as well. Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens is working with Maker’s Mark to enhance their garden landscapes with a variety of plants from Proven Winners. Using the iconic Maker’s Mark bottle as our inspiration, we’ve chosen trees, shrubs and perennials that bloom in reds or burgundies such as the ‘Ruby Spider’ Daylily Hemerocallis hybrid, or that have burgundy foliage such as the ‘Cinnamon Curls’ Coral Bells Heuchera hybrid. With these selections, we are hoping to make an interior | exterior design connection.

Take a look at the ‘Chicagoland’ Boxwoods planted. They have a naturally growing undulating shape, requiring no pruning to get that “cloudy” appearance that southerners love so much.

If you haven’t been to Maker’s Mark in a long time or have never made the journey, now is the time to come visit this landmark. Everyone we have met while working on the site has been unbelievably friendly and welcoming, and that tells a lot about a place.

Tell us what your plant favorites are. Your feedback will help us in designing future gardens at the Maker’s Mark Distillery.

Watch the video of Dale Chihuly’s piece for Maker’s Mark:


Monday – Saturday
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

(606) 843-0854

Located off I-75 at exit 49 on US 25, or a leisurely drive down US 25 south past Livingston on the left just before the Laurel County bridge.

Click here for directions




Growing up on the banks of the Rockcastle River, there are a series of blooming wildflowers that begin in early spring starting with Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) that come up by the thousands along the river. There are a clump of solid white and solid pinks ones that show up each year, but only rarely. Of course, Momma trained us to try and be the first child to bring her a bouquet of blooming Bluebells each spring and, to this day, that’s my thought when walking along the Old Wilderness Road this time of year. Trilliums and Bloodroot, by the thousands come up next, and then Indian Moccasin, Phox, Helianthus, and so on.

This year, Chrysalis House, is honoring our sweet Momma for a Mother’s Day Luncheon and you are invited to come! For over 30 years, Chrysalis House “has been saving families one life at a time”. People sometimes need extra help to make it through the tough times. Momma has always been there for so many of us, from family to strangers that have walked in our door at the store on our property. It’s unbelievable how many of you have come up to me at parties or events and told me how important Momma has been in their life by listening to them. Chrysalis House provides this for so many women, including those with young children who are able to stay with them while undergoing treatment. Please support Chrysalis House whether you can make the luncheon or not, but hope to see you there!


Jon Carloftis




Chrysalis House Mother’s Day Luncheon
honoring Lucille Carloftis

Thursday, May 8th from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Chrysalis Community Center

Tickets are $50

Registration is Required
Online, Phone 859.977.2502 or Email

To buy tickets to this event visit the Chrysalis House website:




2014 marks Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens’
25th year of great garden ideas—
many of them featured in dozens of your favorite
garden and lifestyle magazines.


A very special thank you to Christopher Hirsheimer (now one of my best friends and next door neighbor in Bucks County, PA) of Canal House Cooking for my first introduction to the magazine publishing world, ongoing encouragement, and the best leftovers from her long days creating at their canal house.

Click on the Garden Ideas tab of our website to access our library of ideas we’ve shared over this quarter-century.

But the party is not over.

Follow our work over the next 25 years via … Facebook, Instagram and our blog: What’s New… What’s Next…



“Plants That Pay Off” (pages 42-44): Learn more about these easy-care plant varieties that are hard-working, beautiful, and reliable in the garden. To make a big splash in the sunniest areas of our garden, we plant Cleome hassleriana White Queen. Clusters of large white blooms show off against the dark green leaves below and add sparkle to every other color in the garden. Given genetic modifications to keep this plant compact rather than tall and spindly, our favorites varieties of this plant come from Proven Winners.

Click here to read more…



“Plant Your Wagon” (pages 114-121): Give your garden a rustic charm by planting vintage wheelbarrows and wagons with eye-catching color. We loved working with Country Gardens to produce four of these combinations for our Bucks County, PA farmhouse.

Click here to read more…