Gardens to Gables has a New Look!

I started this blog as a way to share the amazing places and stories I’ve been lucky enough to experience – mostly across my native Kentucky, but also from other places around the world. As a professional architectural historian, most of my work – gathered over weeks of trudging through towns or across farm fields, snapping photographs and writing as quickly as I can on my notepad, then spending hours in front of the computer, and in libraries, building a context of the area – goes and lives on a shelf in an office, far removed from the public eye. Gardens to Gables grew out of my desire to disseminate that information – to spread the gospel, as it were, of historic Kentucky.

Recording a historic chicken house in Bath County, Kentucky.

For the last couple of months, I’ve been brainstorming about how to make the Gardens to Gables site more user-friendly and more enjoyable. It’s a work in progress, but I am so excited that the new site is live – and all of the technical wizardry that made it so is due to the folks at Mediocre Creative in Lexington, Kentucky.

A shotgun in Louisville, Kentucky.

But so many thanks are due to YOU. Yes, if you are reading this right now, then I am so very grateful.

Downtown Owensboro, Kentucky.

The response I’ve gotten – the people who have commented or told me how much they enjoy either these blog posts, or my daily posts on Facebook and Instagram – you make finding the time to do this worth it.

Antebellum door, Lexington, Kentucky.

And sometimes it is incredibly hard to stay awake and try to write, after I’ve put the baby to bed, and all I want to do is go to sleep myself. But I think the incredible richness of Kentucky’s historic architecture, the diverse and complicated stories of our past, and the fight to understand, interpret, and save significant sites for future generations is so important.

Mid-19th century farmhouse, Garrard County, Kentucky.

One of the elements I’m most exited about on the new site is the interactive map of Kentucky. Interested to see whether there’s a story from your neck of the woods? Click on the county name, and if I’ve been there, the posts will come up.

Capturing stories om the side of the highway in West Virginia.

I’ll stress again, this new site is a work in progress – and there are things you would like to see – please tell me! Want a page dedicated to architectural terms? It might take me a while, but that can happen.

Building interior, Shelby County, Kentucky.

And as always, please share your stories. I love hearing them, and I tuck them away carefully, until I have the time to write about them.

American Foursquare, Jackson, Breathitt County, Kentucky.

Thank you so much for your encouragement, suggestions, and comments. I hope the new look is just a precursor to many more journeys across Kentucky and other interesting places I might go.

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Category: Kentucky


  1. David Shewmaker says:

    Like the four square house. It matches my mother’s family home. Thanks

    1. Janie-Rice Brother says:

      Thank you!

  2. Susie says:

    I have enjoyed getting to know Kentucky a little through your blog! The new look is great. I will have to visit Kentucky myself one of these days.

    1. Janie-Rice Brother says:

      Let me know when you do, and I’ll be happy to provide a tour!

  3. Janet Johnson says:

    Keep writing and posting pics! I love this blog!

    1. Janie-Rice Brother says:

      Thank you!

  4. Peggy Workman says:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge, your pictures, and appreciation of architecture. It is a pleasure following your FB posts, emails, and now web page.

    1. Janie-Rice Brother says:

      Thank you!

  5. Annie Jaech says:

    I always appreciate your diligence, pluck and good humor! I think of how you trudge around, sometimes putting yourself at risk, to record what is valuable: Our History. My home town of Fulton, MO was settled by children of the gentry of the Bluegrass. They established the Missouri School for the Deaf, Westminster College, and the first Insane Asylum west of the Mississippi. They built magnificent large homes: Of the Victorian style, Queen Anne, Gothic, Folk; some Greek revival; and some boldly advanced four square prairie homes. There is also the oldest church in America, the Church of St. Mary, Aldermanbury. When John Donne was married there isn 1601 it was at least 400 years old. Destroyed in the Great Fire of London, 1666, it was rebuilt following the plans of Sir Christopher Wren and remains as he designed it. Its form was brought from London, a bombed ruin. Today, it stands on the campus of Westminster College as a memorial to Sir Winston Churchill. Sometimes your photos remind me of furniture oil, or damp plaster, or dusty drapery. As a child, I was welcome in so many of these old homes. “Little Dixie” survives, and teaches.

    1. Janie-Rice Brother says:

      So interesting! We had several branches of our family head to Missouri in the 1840s and the 1850s, and I’ve always wanted to trace their steps. (And pluck is one of my favorite words – it should be used more often. Thank you!)

  6. Katie Mulhearn says:

    This is so exciting!! And all we Prewitts can say “we knew her when…”

    1. Janie-Rice Brother says:

      Awwww…thank you!

  7. Ginger East says:

    I live in southern Indiana.. Love your pictures, plan on taking a trip arond Ky this summers

    1. Janie-Rice Brother says:

      Thank you so much! There’s a lot to see in the Bluegrass – I just hope the weather isn’t too hot and sticky when you make your trip.

  8. Lisa Wolf says:

    We look forward to reading your blog through email and seeing the pictures and so appreciate you taking the time and energy to keep it going!

    1. Janie-Rice Brother says:

      Thank you Lisa!

  9. Rogers Barde says:

    I love your blog posts. I love the pictures and that you identify where they are. I like the length of your posts – not too long or too short, but just right. Thank you for writing and please keep on going.

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