Skip to content
February 15, 2011 / Linda Hartong


Carmel-by-the Sea’s architectural  richness is due in part to it’s unique fences and gates. I am not sure how this keen desire for privacy developed. It may just be that the 20 by 40″ lots are so small that you and your neighbor can carry on a conversation from your kitchen windows. So fences around wonderful front gardens soften the contact to a peek through the rose bushes or over the ivy.  We routinely chat with our next door neighbors from our front porch while they sit in their front yard.

Fences and gates are constructed out of wooden stakes ( most common)

wrought iron

or masonry made of mortared granite, shale, and sandstone

or inventive combinations of any of the above.

Although fence heights are typically limited to 4 feet, Carmelites seeking more privacy often encourage climbing vines to add more height.  We grow ivy, potato vine, passion-flower and taller shrubs to allow us privacy. Our house is on a corner lot and our patio is well screened from view by plantings.

I love the front garden gates that allow me a peek of my neighbors homes.

As I walk the streets with my camera, I photograph over the gate. Interested home owners often come out to see what I am up to and will share a story or two about their home.

I correspond with the owner of this  home down the street from us. The author , Debbie Macomber, saw my photo of the home and contacted me about using it for a cover of one of her novels. As it turned out, it was not to be ,but look at the cover of “Hannah’s List” and see if you see the resemblance to this gate.

Many residents put welcoming details on the gate.

There is also a tradition of hanging bells on the gate. The original “door bells” of Carmel.

In Carmel it is oh so true that “the fence that makes good neighbors… needs a gate to make good friends.”



Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are copyright (c) Linda Hartong. All rights reserved.

You may not use any image on this site without my written consent. If you are interested in using a photo from my website for any purpose, please send me a quick message and let me know which photo(s) you are interested in.



Leave a Comment
  1. Sandy Mansfield / Feb 15 2011 2:44 pm

    Linda, this has to be one of the most enchanting places on the planet!
    And how blessed you are to be a resident part of the year.
    Your wonderful photographs will surely find their way to a beautiful book about Carmel – I’ll be watching for it. 😉

  2. jeanette sclar / Feb 18 2011 2:08 am

    So many adorable fences….and what do I have? Subdivision approved dog ear slats! I see one of those rabbit pickets heading this way….:-)

  3. Monica d / Feb 19 2011 12:45 am

    How positively beautiful! I love all those homes and the fences don’t sever the scenery in these cases – they enhance the visual beauty and add to the whimsy of the decor in many cases. So enchanting. Lovely photos

  4. Little Creek Veterinary Clinic / Mar 8 2011 9:08 pm

    These cottages are the stuff of fairy tales and little girls’ dreams!
    I wanted to tell you, since you visited my vet clinic blog, that the doctor (my dad) went to Army language school in Carmel in the 1960s, and he loved it there. He still talks about Carmel sometimes. It’s one of his favorite places. Thank you for sharing your photos with us. -Jen 🙂

  5. miranda / Mar 9 2011 6:31 pm

    I am so happy to have found your site. Carmel has been my home away from home for almost 35 years. Lately, I have been so busy in the SF area that I don’t get to come down often enough. I miss Carmel so much. Your pictures and stories make me smile and brighten my day. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: