In 1978 Bert Bottorff and Donald Belknap started the Land O’ Goshen Nursery on the Belknap Family Farm of the same name. Belknap who was living on his grandmother’s farm was looking for someone to go into the landscape business with,
After a few years Botorff was doing both the designing and taking care of day-to-day operations. Donald Belknap went on to attend medical school and became an emergency room doctor. Around 1985 Belknap and Bottorff dissolved the partnership and Bottorff continued to run the nursery.
Bottorff was a classical linguist and scholar trained in Latin, Greek and German with a slew of degrees and credits. But gardening became his passion.
In the spring of 1986 Bottorff passed away. Tommy Bachmann an employee of the nursery since the spring of 1981 then acquired the nursery. He renamed the Nursery Bert’s Goshen Nursery.
Fourteen years later he changed the name to Goshen Gardens. Goshen Gardens was originally a restaurant on Highway 42 where they raised their own beef to the delight of the passing truck drivers. That site is the present day Lions Club and is on land originally donated by Edie and Don Belknap.
The business that Tommy began managing in 1986 consists of 20 acres of homegrown trees native to Kentucky. As stated above It was originally part of Land O' Goshen Farms, owned by William Burke Belknap of the famed Belknap Hardware Co. in Louisville. Belknap was a breeder of American Saddlebred horses. He and his second wife Edith Clarke Belknap, who was born September 28, 1896, in Hudson Heights, Quebec lived on the farm. Edith, also known as "Aunt Edie" petitioned to become a naturalized citizen on July 10, 1942. She lived at Land O'Goshen farm with William Burke Belknap until his death and she died March 24, 1983 in Oldham, Kentucky.
Tommy Bachmann has continued the tradition of the nursery. Native plants and specializing in full grown trees and plants for some of the large farms and homes in the Oldham County area. it was noted in an article in the Village Voice that Bachmann was recognized as “one of the world’s most interesting plantsmen.”
Bert Bortorff with a fish sculpture by Barney Bright used in one of his designed gardens. Photo from Louisville Magazine article in 1982
In Business Since 1978