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Jon Carloftis on the steps of the garden shed at Botherum

An interview with Clara Haneberg for Traditional Home Magazine

On a warm summer day, you can find me:

Working on somebody’s garden or in my own garden. I would rather be in a garden (training, pruning, cleaning, looking, learning….) than anywhere on earth.

Ever been stung by a bee?

Many, many times over the years, but every once in awhile it will be a hornet instead of a yellow jacket, wasp, or honey bee, and it is mind boggling how much pain they can bring!

Sweat tea or lemonade?

Like them both!

As a kid, I loved playing __________ outdoors.


In my garden I grow:

Lots of perennials, a few annuals, veggies, and herbs. Of course, our 1 acre property is Boxwood World, too!

For me, outdoor design is:

Essential for telling a story, making things exciting for visitors, and a huge part of entertaining in Lexington, KY.

My biggest outdoor fiasco involved:

Oh, there have been so many, but the one that still sticks out was telling my Argentine crew who didn’t speak English very well, to put out grass seed (it had been coated with a colored fertilizer) on all the grassy areas and they misunderstood and thought it was granular fertilizer and put it in every border and bed… arghhhhhhhhhhh. Pulled that out for years!

My favorite memory of being outdoors is:

Usually the day I’ve spent and think about it before going to sleep at night.

Sunglasses, floppy hot, SPF—or all three?

All three for sure!

You won a free ticket to any outdoor destination, you pick:

England to see gardens.

The ideal weather forecast is:

Light misty rain when the garden is gorgeous and the plants are happiest.

Every outdoor space should have:

A vista, a seat of some sort to sit and look at the garden, a couple of dogs that are garden friendly and don’t destroy things, some sort of art piece that could be a found object or created by someone, and some structure to get out of the sun.

My favorite outdoor activity is:

Playing with the dogs and walking through an interesting garden.

What I love most about entertaining outdoors is:

Making folks excited about being outdoors. There are lots of people who don’t spend any time outside and they do when they come to my garden.

Who would you invite to your dream alfresco dinner party?

My closest friends, and that happens quite often during the year around our pool. Lots of laughter, cocktails, delicious food, and great views of the garden.

Every good outdoor gathering has:

Amazing cocktails.

Everything is ___________ outdoors.


To read more “On the Porch” interviews visit Traditional Home’s website

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