I recently found out that one of my dearest friends here in Charleston is leaving the Holy City and headed to Louisville, Kentucky for her husband’s medical residency. So I did what any northern girl who lives in the South would do, I went to the Garden & Gun website and searched Louisville. What came up was Lincliff. Built in 1912, this Georgian Revival mansion on the banks of the Ohio River is home to famed mystery novelist Sue Grafton and her husband Steve Humphrey. The couple bought the abandoned and dilapidated house in 2000, and Humphrey, a newly enthusiastic gardener, spent the first five years of ownership clearing, fixing, and researching the beautiful gardens surrounding the house. During their research, Grafton and Humphrey discovered that the hilltop site plan had been designed by John Olmsted, nephew of famed Central Park landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Since then, Grafton and Humphrey have been restoring the gardens and even adding touches of their own inspired by their travels in Europe. I think I have mentioned that W is the gardener in our marriage, so maybe one day we could take on a project like this. Whaddya say Mr. B? In the meantime, knowing that there are places and people like this living in and around Louisville, my friend is going to be just fine … and I have now found an excuse to go visit.
Lacquered Life • Olivia M. Brock