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A Review of the Rockcastle River Trading Co. (Botanical Trail by Jon Carloftis)

Some of our long-time readers may remember that I’m no gardening expert {see my beginner tips here and what I learned at the farmer’s market here}. However — green thumb or not — I still love to look at pretty flowers!

Earlier this spring, a friend of ours told me about a home and garden store that opened about 45 minutes from where we live called the Rockcastle River Trading Company. It’s located at the childhood home of Jon Carloftis, a well known gardener who has been featured in many publications including Southern Living and Country Living Magazines.

This past weekend was the Grand Opening of their Botanical Trail and we took a family trip up there on Saturday to check it out.

These photos were all taken on my phone, and don’t even begin to represent how beautiful everything was… but hopefully it will be enough to entice you to visit if you are in the area!

You might be able to spot the large silver globes floating in the bottom right corner of this pond. They had collected in the corner; but we had seen them floating across the surface and I loved how the light and water reflected off their surface.

On each corner of the pond were these tall cone shaped trellises {I guess that is trellis plural?}. Mike and I really liked the geometric design. It was a nice contrast with all of the organic shapes surrounding it.


This old home is located on the property… after you cross a wooden bridge shaded by tall trees {which my 3 year old loved, of course}. The shingles on the roof were mossy and ivy was climbing up the side of the building. The front yard is filled with gardens and a
pathway leading up to the front door.

Planters placed on each side of the front door are always one of my favorite ways to decorate a small porch. It reminded me of Emily’s recent porch update.

One of the sheds on the property was covered in ivy and large metal wash buckets. Another idea I’ve liked recently for decorating the side of a shed is this one by the Hunted Interior using plates.

There was a small outbuilding decorated like a schoolhouse too.

A tobacco stick fence lined it’s front yard and a quirky vintage sign greeted you near the entrance.


The door knocker was a small iron shovel and terra cotta pots placed in the wagon of an old toy tractor sat on the steps. Wouldn’t they be pretty filled with succulents!

This is only a peek and there is so much more to see! The trails winded all the way down to the Rockcastle River. It was nearly all shaded and there were various spots to sit and relax along the way. It’s located off of I-75 South in Kentucky, less than 15 minutes from the interstate. So, if you are traveling through this area of the state, I completely recommend a visit! You can visit their website for all the details.

What local tours and gardens do you recommend in your area? I’d love to hear! We love to stop at local places when we travel.