1. Create small "rooms" and finish them. Trying to 3. Don’t be afraid to fail. "The great thing
tackle a larger space can be overwhelming. "Start about working outside is, if it doesn’t work
with the little area right by the house and then this year, you’ve got next year. Get out and
go from there," says Carloftis. try it, and you’ll have fun and learn," ,
2. Do research to discover what you like. "It’s like a Carloftis says. Q
car, don’t just buy the first thing you see on the 1
lot," Carloftis says. I
"l`m not a plant snob," says the soft—spoken Carloftis. on the rooftops, there’s enough glass and stone and
"l treat plants like I do people. I step back, look at them, steel already.”
and give them a chance. I don’t like to make quick judg- Carloftis’ gardens have been featured in maga-
ments. I think people who do that with people or plants zines like Metropolitan Home, Better Homes and A
are missing out on a lot of things." Gardens; Garden Design, and House Beautiful. He’s
A sellidescribed "plant person," Carloftis, 40, traces his appeared on HGTV, "Good Morning America," and I
love of nature and the outdoors to his childhood in Lau- “Martl1a Stewart Living? For his rooftop designs in
rel County, along the banks of the Rockcastle River. New York, the Museum of the City of New York
Regular walks with his dad two miles through the woods awarded him a prestigious landscape design award.
to check the l`amily`s freshwater spring were his early He’s in high demand as a lecturer on the garden cir-
textbooks into the beauty of all types of plants and trees. cuit, and he’s just released his first book called “First
It was a foundation that’s served him well. a Garden."  
"Having that background in plants has really helped It all started in the summer of 1988, when, fresh i
me in New York City, because when I think of a garden, out of classes at UK, he traveled to New York for the ,
instead of building more and more, I think of plants as ar- summer and printed some business cards billing him- i
chitectural elements," C arloftis says. "I`l| use self as a rooftop garden designer — despite the fact
upright junipers for columns, in- that he`d never previously stepped foot in one.
stead of building some- $
thing. ln New 0 E DOING WHAT HE LOVES
York, - px R , ,
Q; The confidence to make such a gutsy move, Carloftis
{ A         ‘ · says. came from his solid upbringing —"If you knew ·
_ \ \>\ S   ‘I   my parents, you’d understand. Other than mean dogs
\” _     I _ .I · "" _, I _ and snakes,I have no fear on this earth. Nothing like
  `  .·   ;‘f·¥i?· " _ that intimidates me"— and from what he says were
` `··§1’ZY¥‘·· t§;·€;,*,it§f§f,Q·§’  ‘ ae J; _ incredible faculty at UK. He points to Sharon Bale`s
  ’i“       annuals and perennials class, which he "would not
   .stge·~· · ·‘ IQ c ~   * gg have missed it there had been two feet of sn0w," and
?`°"   <     ¤·.J.`Q°’j     _ Bill Fountain and Sam McNeill”s trees and shrubs
I . ._;;';j,"».- , ·—;,‘-.\_` ’,,_`ifré,°.,  ,;?¤·¢,t;;_ ‘ classes as particularly influential. "I had an idea of
, · ` · “°  . {gig,   #**·T" , what I wanted to do, but they gave me the tools to
IMI    I,_,I_· I III,I_I ~ uq II do it, he says. I I
  ’ »•‘ gg.  » -    .. ‘   ’ I * r,. ‘ Having completed a degree in communica-
.·   I_ j ‘ ». · __ gu * y, tions from UK in 1986 and realizing that any
{Q.:   · ¤ ' { x job in that field would mean staying indoors
Q, g ~ O}   I    —i». f t` { _ - wm; my thing," he emphasizes — he de-
» •'- V { I _I g Q ‘ ’ cided to follow his true passion. So he came
’ • , *° ,3 ` (l _ IIN back to UK for a year and a half, taking a
· , , _ I§,_•_ · I   r=¤~“·" “` sampling of art history, horticulture, and
'• ·   \IIIII\IIIII:I,,.·> i
g __,, I r ~~·‘ ·   " "First a Garden"is available online at www.ioncarloftis.c0m and
   . ».-—   I through Joseph-Beth Booksellers. He also is working on a children’s book
`     ‘ called " The Green Experiment," which teaches the importance of respecting nature.
Jon C arloftis is scheduled to speak in Kentucky June 18 at the University of the
C umberlands, June 22-23 at the Woodford County Humane Society’s Annual Gala at
Calumet Horse Farm. and August 13 at his family’s property in Livingston. Check out
his Web site at www.joncarloftis.com.