Kentucky's Oldest Florist, Michler's

Michler Florist on Maxwell Street - Lexington, Ky.
Drive slowly down Maxwell Street and you may find one of the gems of Lexington. For generations, the Michler family has grown beautiful flowers and other flora in the greenhouses which now occupy land sandwiched better the University of Kentucky and downtown Lexington.

Michler Florist, or Michler's, is the Commonwealth's oldest continually operated greenhouse and florist.  Carl Michler, an immigrant from W├╝rttemberg, Germany, began to establish his greenhouses on the site in 1902. It was a family business and remains so to this day.

It was written in the Herald Leader on the occasion of Michler's 100th anniversary that Michler's "is a fundamental piece of traditional downtown Lexington. It's a grass-roots family business as old as the neighborhood around it, with a strong old-fashioned flavor."

Carl's two sons, Louis and Charlie shared the operation until Charlie broke out to begin the defunct Michler Nurseries on Richmond Road. Louis kept the family greenhouse operating on Maxwell Street before turning the helm over to his son, Karl, who returned from military service in World War II.

Karl's son, John, would later operate the family business after having studied horticulture at UK. His expertise has expanded Michler's offerings to include native species and educational offerings in perennials and garden design. And now, through John's son Robin, a fifth generation has joined the fray!

Michler's is unique for in those greenhouses - now a century-plus old - the plants sold here are still cultivated in-house. The alternative seen in most floral shops is to only assemble arrangements from the cuttings from far distant lands.

Ordinarily, I'd include a flickr link here - but, alas, I accidentally deleted my photos from this deTour. A pity, as the beautiful flora is a spectacle to behold. Since I can't share them, you should stop by Michler's at 417 E. Maxwell Street.

The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation hosts a monthly deTour for young professionals (and the young-at-heart). The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. Learn more details about this exciting group on FacebookYou can also see Kaintuckeean write-ups on previous deTours by clicking here.
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