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The Salonnière interviews Jon about soirée style & tips for creating a garden that’s ripe for entertaining

  • August 3, 2017

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Brie Dyas of  The Salonnière who asked me about all the things I love most… the history of our home, Botherum, my preferred way to entertain at home, tips for creating a great outdoor entertaining space, and about some of my favorites (like florists, caterers, dinnerware, shops) in and around my home city, Lexington… She’s put together a wonderful article that I hope you enjoy!

Read the full article at The Salonnière


Botherum featured in One Kings Lane: A Designer’s Historic Southern Escape

  • June 28, 2017

We’re beyond thrilled to be featured in this week’s DECORATING & ENTERTAINING IDEAS for One Kings Lane! If you aren’t familiar with One Kings Lane, what we find so impressive is how they love to celebrate the individual style of each designer they feature, letting their own unique perspective shine through. Each is different and each is all so beautiful…

The following is the full article, but please check out for links to some really great decorating ideas, all based on the styles found in Botherum.

A Designer’s Historic Southern Escape

Beneath a magnificent ginkgo stands a Greek Revival home surrounded by mowed grass, hedged boxwoods, and a limestone wall separating it from a neighborhood of Victorians just beyond. Fast asleep on its gated drive are Gertrude and Lily, two yellow Labradors who, if prompted, rush to greet all who enter the compound known as Historic Botherum. A Lincoln-era property situated in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky, it belongs to landscape designer Jon Carloftis and his partner, Dale Fisher. During the past five years, they’ve worked as a team to restore the home and its surrounding grounds to a contemporary version of its former glory.

“We wanted to preserve as much of it as we could,” says Jon. “We didn’t want to ruin what was already in play with a full-on renovation.” And so floors were buffed and topped with five coats of tung oil, fixtures were taken out, polished, and reinstalled, and the existing layout was maintained. Of course, there were a few exceptions—enhancements, rather, made in the interest of Southern comfort. A saltwater pool wasn’t included in the original plans, but one was added, albeit carefully screened by a period-appropriate plantscape. Claw-foot tubs? None here. Jon prefers showers to soaks and felt no need to indulge in antiquated frivolities. “It’s not like we’re living in a museum,” he laughs.

And therein lies the true story of Botherum as it exists today. Preserved but not dead, it is a portrait of the couple who live there, reflecting their infectious personalities as much as it does a glorified past. Order and chaos can be found throughout the home’s interior, highlighting Jon and Dale’s shared sense of humor but different ways of being. “When I was a kid,” Jon says, “I was outside romping around and chasing butterflies. Dale, on the other hand, was most likely very much inside, ironing his socks.” Laughter ensues, reverberating off a marble bust strung with colorful beads, a taxidermy bison affectionately called Otis, and an antique sideboard covered in birds’ nests saved from transplanted trees. Rarely does a home possess so much character. See their inspiring mix below:

One Kings Lane-Botherum foyer

One Kings Lane-Botherum-Ionic columns

One Kings Lane-Botherum-Ionic columns

One Kings Lane-Botherum-bar

One Kings Lane-Botherum One Kings Lane-Botherum-Dining Room

One Kings Lane-Botherum-cabinet showcase

One Kings Lane-Botherum-master bedroom

One Kings Lane-Botherum-Japanese paintings

One Kings Lane-Botherum-guest room

One Kings Lane-Botherum-butler’s chest

One Kings Lane-Botherum-bathroom

One Kings Lane-Botherum-kitchen

One Kings Lane-Botherum-window nook

One Kings Lane-Botherum-pool and entry

[ Shop the Look of Botherum at One Kings Lane ]


Kentucky Life comes to Lexington Kentucky to learn about historic Botherum

  • November 22, 2016
Historic Botherum On KET

KET’s Kentucky Life visited a little while back in which we share some of the history of historic Botherum as well give a little insight on how we brought this beautiful Greek Revival home back to life… Also in this episode are Baker-Bird Winery in Augusta and famed folk artist Minnie Adkins.

Garden designer Jon Carloftis and Dale Fisher share the history and beauty of their restored 19th century home in downtown Lexington.


A Great Southern Legislative Conference Garden Tour…

  • July 14, 2016

This week we toured some of our favorite Lexington gardens, taking 50 spouses of the Southern Legislative Conference held here in Lexington, Kentucky this past weekend. The garden tour visited Mt. Brilliant Farm, Kazee, Lois Anne Polan, Dudley’s rooftop garden, Madonna & Craig Turner, Apiary and of course we ended at our beloved Botherum.

The day was beautiful, the people as wonderful as they come and we just loved every moment of the day.

Guess what? We can all get along and very well!

Edible Louisville – June 2015 featuring our garden shed at Botherum!

  • July 20, 2015



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


My mouth is watering already… Canal House is taking over our kitchen for the pre-Solstice cocktail party at Botherum on June 19th!

  • June 12, 2015

We couldn’t help giving you a sneak peak…


I can never say enough good things about my good friends Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton… Just about everyone knows them from their books, The Canal House Cooking series (I should say, the award-winning series!).

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being lucky enough to taste some of their delicious creations you’ll know why my mouth is already watering in anticipation.

Well, it turns out that I was able to convince them to come down to Kentucky and be our very special guest chefs at the cocktail party we are hosting at Botherum on the night before the Governor’s Mansion LIFE+STYLE event… and boy did they put together an amazing menu!


Bulleit Bourbon Cocktail
Bubbly Water
White Wine

Delicious bites: 

Pimiento Cheese on Saltines
Stuffed Eggs with Asparagus
Fried Chicken with Watermelon Pickle
Shrimp Cocktail
Peanut Butter, Bacon & Bourbon Jelly
Grilled Cheese & Chutney
Endive with Gorgonzola Dolce & Toasted Walnuts
Candied Bacon

Looks delicious, right?!?

Now, I hate to say it but we’re close to SOLD OUT for this event… just a few tickets are left and in order to come to the cocktail party, you need to add it on as an option when you purchase your ticket to the Governor’s Mansion event… if you hurry, you might be the lucky few to get in on this really great party!

P.S. I wanted to mention that there will be live jazz performed by the amazing Chris Comer Trio from Cincinnati, Ohio (they were a big hit at our recent bourbon tasting event at the Cincinnati Flower Show)! So what could be better than great food, great music and great people on a Friday night? See you there!

If you would like to learn more about Canal House Cooking check them out here:

Instagram: @canalhouse

Sold-Out Success for the LIFE+STYLE event at Keeneland!

  • May 7, 2015

We hit our goal thanks to YOU!

We like it intimate. And so we are happy to say that our first Proven Winners LIFE+STYLE event at Keeneland, hosted by yours truly, was a major success, SELLING OUT at our capped 200 attendees! By limiting our audience for these events mean we get to spend more time with all of you! Thanks to you and your participation (great questions from the audience by the way!),we heard nothing but great feedback all day long.

Thanks also go out to Bill Thomason who welcomed us and gave us a wonderful history of Keeneland, Patrick Howard who showed us how he creates the amazing floral arrangements you see around Keeneland, Marshall Dirks who told us why Proven Winners are the best choices for our gardens, Janna and Ashley Pemberton who gave us all great ideas for patio gardening, Tim Wood who made great suggestions about using flowering shrubs in our gardens, Rob Samuels who gave an enthusiast history of Maker’s Mark (and who bought EVERYONE a round of the signature cocktail of Keeneland!) and finally, we had a professional handicapper from Keeneland show us the ropes to winning!

Let’s not leave out the cocktail party and garden tour from the previous night at Botherum, which was such a wonderful way to kick off the festivities with both old friends and new friends (great to meet you!) Special shout out to our dear friend Ann Evans, whose mouthwatering food was the hit of the night and to The Wooks, who entertained us and kept the party hopping with incredible Bluegrass music!

And now, of course, we carry on to the next big thing. We are gearing up for the follow up  LIFE+STYLE event on June 19th and 20th focusing on the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion, where will we have an ALL NEW lineup of speakers and activities to dazzle and amaze as well as the cocktail party and tour of Botherum the evening before.

You can get more information at We hope to see you there!

Finally, with out the support of our fine sponsors, we could never have pulled it off. We hope you all will in turn support these wonderful businesses.


We had a blast with the Tuckahoe Women’s Club!

  • May 5, 2015

A Grand Tour with an Amazing Group of Ladies from Richmond, Virginia

We wanted to share some photos from the wonderful garden tour we led for the Tuckahoe Women’s Club recently. They were such a fantastic group! Our Mayor Jim Gray declared their day “The Tuckahoe Women’s Club Day” and they even received a special plaque! Very Cool.


Kentucky Governor’s Mansion
(hosted by Ann Evans)
Dede McGehee’s Home
Brereton & Libby Jones’ Home
L. V. Harkness
Lois Anne Polan’s Home
Cathy Clay’s Home
(hosted by Jon Carloftis & Dale Fisher)
The Apiary
(hosted by Derek & Neal Vaughn)

Whew! That was FUN!

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