With June comes garden tours, planting annuals, filling containers with blooming flora, bringing out the patio furniture, enjoying the warm or this year HOT weather and a cool beverage on a front porch with friends. Being in Bourbon country, many think of this spirit as a fall/winter pleasure, but with all of the “mixologists” jumping on the Bourbon wagon, we are enjoying all types of refreshing beverages made from the brown liquor. The Kentucky Mule for one,
- 2 oz Woodford Reserve bourbon.
- 1⁄2 oz Fresh lime juice.
- Ginger beer, to top.
- add a sprig of rosemary as a stir stick and pour over ice
The Bourbon Melon for another. Tropicana makes a new Watermelon juice in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Mix the container with 1/2 pkg of Jolly Rancher Watermelon Jello right out of the box, 2 bottles of Ale-8-One and 4 jiggers of Bourbon. Shake vigorously to melt the jello and serve over crushed ice. Makes 4-6 tumblers of adult beverage.
The latter was perfect for hosting a few Master Gardeners on a recent front yard drive by garden tour of a run down neighborhood in downtown Bardstown, KY (currently being revitalized with the hopes of being the Bardstown “Garden District” in ” The Most Beautiful Small Town In America” and “The Bourbon Capital of the World”).
What makes a small town the best is not always the way it looks. The way you are treated by those who live there can make it the best. That is what Bardstown does well. And, that is what is happening in the downtown area of Henrytown recently.
One of the Thoroughbroads downsized into a small bungalow in that run down neighborhood and decided she could be a catalyst for change. She recruited her next door neighbor and off they went door to door leaving anonymous notes thanking homeowners who were working on their properties and front yards. The word got out that someone was appreciative of their efforts…only they did not know who. Next, plants started appearing on their front door stoops with a card marked The Henrytown Pride Project. Then, a benefactor heard what was going on and donated a number of heirloom lilies and iris, so those started appearing on steps and the number of homes showing headway started multiplying. Within 1 year 31 homes had refurbished their curb appeal, rentals started coming up for sale (because property values were increasing) and young people started buying their affordable first homes and learning how to enhance them with gardens.
The project took off and now neighbors know neighbors, they are sharing not only plants with each other, but dinners and adult beverages on the porches that once sat vacant. In a world where all you hear is bad news daily, it is refreshing to know that with a little bit of encouragement instead of chastising others, you can see the change you want just by being the change yourself.
Robyn comes to visit Scarlett every chance she gets, they sit on the front porch and enjoy a drink with these neighbors. All think Robyn should move from Alabama back to Kentucky and become a member of The Henrytown Pride Gang. Who knows what the future will hold, but “The Most Beautiful Small Town In America” will always be here for her with open arms.
After all….The Thoroughbroads would be proud that they continue the tradition of hospitality, Kentucky style.