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Floral Displays - Attracting Attention with Colorful Plants


  • City of Lexington – The city maintains 266 multi-hued pots, 151 petunia baskets, rain gardens, and flower beds on street level in the downtown area, notably: 

    • Government Center, 200 E. Main 

    • Gratz Park, 2nd and 3rd Streets between Mill and Market 

    • Picadome, Park & Recreation Offices, 469 Parkway Drive 

    • Fayette County Detention Center, 600 Old Frankfort Circle

    • Senior Citizens Center, 195 Life Lane

    • Vine and Old Vine Streets

    • Elm Tree Lane and Main Streets


  • The Isabel Yates Community Champion Daffodil Drift is located on a Wellington Park hillside adjacent to New Circle Road. It is a signature project of AIBLex begun in 2017 at our annual CELEBRATE LEXINGTON Community Breakfast. It is named for former Vice Mayor Isabel Yates for her unceasing work in beautification and historic preservation. We chose to honor annual recipients with his/her own daffodil variety of 1500 donated bulbs from Holland, planted by volunteers and jail trustees, adjacent to each other in a swirling pattern. Additional awardees are Marcia Farris and Liz Pattengill. Signage for the Drift is in process. 

  • Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, maintained by Parks and Recreation, is a great place to view Kentucky wildflowers spring through fall. More than 300 different varieties of wildflowers, including blue-eyed Mary and other rare varieties, can be found at Raven Run. 

  • VisitLex promotes for visitors “Gorgeous Gardens Await in Lexington and the Bluegrass” highlighting some of our most beautiful gardens and historic homes. 

  • The Arboretum State Botanical Garden of Kentucky began in 1986 and is a partnership between the University of Kentucky and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.  It covers 100 acres, including a two-mile paved path showcasing the seven geophysical regions of Kentucky.  In 2000, The Arboretum was named the official State Botanical Garden of Kentucky.  In 2011, the Kentucky Children’s Garden opened. In 2015, LFUCG and the University of Kentucky signed a strategic plan which ensures the future of The Arboretum through 2086.  Floral displays at the Arboretum include:  Rose Garden, Fragrance Garden, Perennial Garden, Herb Garden, Edible Garden, Pollinator Pathways, All American trials and displays, ground cover displays, and annual flowers. 

  • The University of Kentucky’s campus consists of over 800 acres. Each year the Grounds Department plants over 60 display beds with both annuals and perennials, growing 99% of the over 3300 flats of annuals planted on campus. On average over 60,000 individual plants are planted and maintained by this Department, in addition to the thousands of shrubs and trees on campus. Over the years, perennials have become a major ingredient in the designs. This direction saves labor, water and is less disruptive to the root systems of trees. In the middle of the busy campus is the Ruth Mathews Garden, a wooded natural half acre home to a variety of native plants used for teaching and research. Located at the corner of South Limestone and Washington Avenue, it was designed by Clarence Wentworth Mathews when the location was his home. It was sold to the University in 1968 and is a favorite respite on campus.


  • The new Downtown Lexington Partnership (2017) encourages businesses, organizations and property owners to enhance the beauty of downtown with the use of potted flowers and shrubs by presenting a downtown area Landscape and Streetscape Award of Excellence each year. 

  • The Garden at Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate, is home to over 120 varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers. The center of the walled garden is divided into parterres, marked by collections of herbs, roses, and charming ornamental iron benches and bronze statues. To the east of the original garden is a collection of Professor A.P. Saunders’ hybrid peonies, an old hybrid that is still in great demand by gardeners worldwide. The Garden Club of Lexington has cared for and maintained this garden since 1950. ​

  • The Lexington Cemetery, established in 1848 as part of the cemetery-as-arboretum movement, has a main floral garden. Over 25,000 annuals and 25,000 spring bulbs are planted in the garden each year.

  • Michler's Florist and Greenhouses maintain an extensive and popular plant selection. Built in 1907 by Charlie Michler, the original green houses are still in use and the operation has stayed in the family since then, thriving in the middle of the historic Aylesford neighborhood near downtown. 

  • Several historic homes open for tour in Lexington include small period gardens including the herb and flower gardens at Waveland State Historic Site; a small antebellum era “city garden” and gazebo at the Hunt-Morgan House; and a charming yet compact, formal 19th-century herb and perennial garden at the Mary Todd Lincoln House.

  • Griffin Gate Marriott Resort - At a major gateway to Lexington, this former farmland property preserves the original southern-style mansion which is visible from the road, however the breathtaking flower-lined driveways and entrance steals all of one’s attention as you enter the property. This hotel planted an America in Bloom Legacy Garden in honor of the 2018 Symposium. 


  • Lexington in Bloom “Curb Appeal” Contest - The Lexington Council Garden Clubs sponsors the Lexington in Bloom contest. This biennial event began in 1992, inspired by a traveler’s visit to Britain in Bloom, to recognize distinctive gardens - particularly floral displays - both residential and commercial. Only those designs which are visible to the public from the street are considered. Recently, a miscellaneous category was added to include community/vegetable gardens, rain gardens, mailboxes, window boxes, and containers. Monarch Waystations were added in 2016.  After two rounds of judging, the winners are honored and recognized at a June reception at the UK Arboretum.  Celebrate Lexington supports this contest as volunteer judges. 

  • Chevy Chase/Ashland Park neighborhoods (streets around and east of Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate); and the Kenwick neighborhood (Mentelle Park, Victory and other streets off Richmond Road east of downtown), are beautifully in bloom, spring through fall.

  • The Ashland Terrace Retirement Home offers the only public cutting garden in the city. A hidden gem in the Chevy Chase neighbhorhood, it offers cut-your-own flowers and herbs on the honor system at prices below market value. 

  • Greenhouse17 is an innovative domestic violence shelter and 40 acre therapy farm in rural Fayette County. Its premise is that working in peaceful nature while growing flowers and vegetables is healing for the residents and their children. Farm-grown vegetables are used in daily meals; CSA flower shares are sold in Lexington. Body care products made by residents are also marketed. Residents call the experience life-changing.

Community Involvement

  • AIBLex past judges have encouraged our city to adopt a city flower to complement the recently named city tree. A process is now underway for a public vote. Selections are Catmint, Purple Coneflower, and blue Salvias. Note the emphasis on blue/purple for our BLUEgrass.

  • 112 Fayette County Master Gardeners volunteered 5,500 hours in 2018 through 30 community gardening, education, and support events.

  • Lexington Council Garden Clubs (LCGC), part of National Garden Clubs, has six member clubs.  LCGC promotes gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility through sponsorship of the biennial Lexington in Bloom contest. With Fayette County Master Gardeners, they organized an annual flower and vegetable show during the Lion's Club Bluegrass Fair.  They have funded numerous garden projects throughout Lexington from proceeds from the biennial Open Gates to Bluegrass Living Garden Tour. 

  • SEEDLEAF, a nonprofit organization, has established more than 15 community vegetable gardens where volunteers grow food, share the bounty, educate the public, and compost food remnants from restaurants. 

  • More than 130 Monarch Waystations have been installed at schools, parks, businesses and homes in Lexington.

  • The Lexington chapter of Wild Ones planted and maintains several native species demonstration gardens in including a pollinator garden at the entrance to Wellington Park along with numerous Monarch way stations. Group volunteers offer presentations and conduct tours of native plant gardens for the Lexington community.

  • Volunteer gardeners maintain gardens at Hope Lodge and Ronald McDonald House near UK Medical Center; Waveland State Historic Site; historic Hopemont House in Gratz Park; the flower and vegetable gardens at the Arboretum; the Women’s Remembrance Garden at Wellington Park; and many more. 

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