Jon Carloftis Fine GardensRockcastle River Trading Co.

Garden Lecture Series

With a variety of topic discussions, Jon Carloftis has spoken to more than 200 audiences of garden and landscape enthusiasts from coast to coast. With elegant down-home manners, a soft Kentucky accent, and good humor, Jon has charmed audiences in over 55 cities and 17 states while sharing his expertise in gardening. His spirited presentation leaves guests of all ages with a can-do spirit. Jon has spoken at the following notable venues and events:

Venue / Event


Blue Grass Trust Antiques & Garden Show

Lexington, KY

Carnegie Museum of Art

Pittsburgh, PA

Central Park Conservancy

New York, NY

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago, IL

Damayan Garden Project

Tallahassee, FL

EPCOT Garden Festival

Orlando, FL

Farmington Derby Breakfast

Louisville, KY

Forbes Museum

New York, NY

Gramercy Park Antique & Garden Show

New York, NY

Nashville Antique & Garden Show

Nashville, TN

National Garden Club Annual Meeting

Houston, TX

New England Flower Show

Boston, MA

Meredith Corporation Creative Lecture Series

Des Moines, IA

New York State Flower Show

New York, NY

Philadelphia Flower Show

Philadelphia, PA

Riverview at Hobson Grove Garden Walk

Bowling Green, KY

Southeastern Flower Show

Atlanta, GA

21C Museum / Hotel Special Events

Louisville, KY


Lecture Themes

Jon Carloftis speaks on a variety of garden-themed subjects.  Past presentations include the following:

BEFORE & AFTER GARDEN TRANSFORMATIONS (60 – 75 minutes): With over 30 years of experience, Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens has transformed gardens around the country. From rooftops, backyards, grand entrances, museums, distilleries, residential and commercial spaces, and more, the best way to see just what the possibilities are for your space is to see what a garden looked like before and after we carefully planned and executed a garden design. 

BEAUTIFUL GARDENS OF KENTUCKY (60 – 75 minutes):  Jon Carloftis prides himself on his Kentucky roots and believes that the Bluegrass state is home to some of the most enchanting and inspired gardens in the world.  His new book by the same name is an indelible portrait of twenty-one private and public outdoor spaces in Kentucky.  Some are urban, others suburban or rural, and the designs – some of which are Carloftis’ own – are as distinguished as they are seductive.  Jon vividly tells the story of each garden and introduces you to the people who brought them to life.  While building their gardens, each have come up with scores of ideas and solutions that can be helpful to other gardeners.  And in showcasing these remarkable properties, Carloftis hopes that lecture attendees will be inspired to create their own wonderful and highly personal outdoor spaces.

PUTTING STYLE IN YOUR GARDEN (60 – 75 minutes):  Whether your garden is a place of tranquility, a place for friends & family to gather, a place to pamper a host of plants and flowers, or simply a place to surround your home, the appropriate adornments can bring a sense of style to your garden. In his presentation, Jon outlines the steps he takes to create gardens with various theme and intentions.  Hardscape materials, plant material, furniture, lighting, decorations, water features, outbuildings, garden decorations – these items must be selected carefully and placed appropriately so as to complement your garden, not overpower it. Having a unique style is important for bringing out the personality of every garden and gardener. During his presentation, Jon shares with his audience his every growing line of sustainable, earth-friendly garden products dedicated to beautiful and functional outdoor living.

SMALL SPACE GARDENING (60 – 75 minutes): “Whether you have a rooftop or balcony in the city, a small backyard in the suburbs, or 100 acres in the country,” Jon explains, “its that small space right outside the back door that everyone uses most.”  For more than twenty years, Jon Carloftis has designed and installed more than 150 gardens for his New York clientele, where outdoor living space is rare, and the demand for year-round beauty and functionality is intense.  He shares with his audience before and after photos of a dozen of his designs and installations, as well the lessons learned that are applicable to other small spaces, the common backyard, courtyards, decks, driveways, walkways, outbuildings, and many more.  Audiences soon discover why Jon’s work is so often featured in dozens of national monthly garden publications.

PRESERVATION OF HISTORIC GARDENS (60 - 75 minutes): More info coming soon!