Skip to content
May 18, 2011 / Linda Hartong


It is late afternoon and I have decided to take a short stroll with my camera and snap a few shots before we walk to dinner. I am taking a close-up of one home’s nameplate when a man bursts through the gate right in front of me. He grins and I extend my hand and tell him that I am taking photos for my blog about Carmel.

Immediately he proclaims, “Then you must take pictures of my wife’s garden. She does all the work herself and it is so lovely. “ Wow, I am not saying no to this kind invitation.

He zips back through the gate to tell his wife and neighbors who are having drinks on the patio and re-emerges with an invitation to join them all for a drink when I am through taking pictures. Then he ushers me into the magical little spot she has created within her garden walls.

The patio and path work are Camel Stone. They have transformed the  garage into it’s own charming little cottage complete with the wave pattern wood shingle, flower boxes, and planters.

At this point he departs and I am left to take my time. My view and my camera travel slowly around counterclockwise. The only thing I like more than Adirondack chairs are Adirondack chairs in a circle with inviting cushions on them.

A potted fern makes a nice centerpiece.

They have an outdoor fireplace. Carmel weather is perfect for using the fireplaces as evenings are cool. I note that even the house pet has a container out here thoughtfully shaded from the sun with a towel.

The Pine Cone candles on the mantle will add a bit of evening magic.

This talented gardener has planted baby tears between the stepping-stones. This is a shade loving ground cover in Carmel.

Her English Thatch bird feeder looks better than mine at home- where the squirrels have stripped off all the thatch for their nests. Check out the butterfly. She strikes just the right balance in her use of garden ornamentation.

This is the Feng Shui “power corner” and from this bench she can rock and survey her creation. Notice how skillfully she has used her touches of color.

What a beautifully kept cottage. More teak furniture cushioned for comfort, flower boxes , planters and those great lace curtains make this so inviting.

White bacopa is the plant spilling out from the planter. Ivy forms a topiary .

Bunnies are a recurring theme.

I love the use of the Sedum at the feet of this one. No detail is too small for this gardener.

An angel perches on the edge of a planter of blue bacopa and variegated foliage.

One last look at the charming garage

and I am out the gate and across the street for a glass of wine.  I can hardly wait to meet the gracious woman who created this garden and keeps it so immaculate. 


Leave a Comment
  1. jeanette sclar / May 18 2011 9:18 pm

    Finally someone who appreciates your efforts! What a sweet couple.
    Bunnies are a recurring theme there you say? That’s true in my garden, too, but not nearly so photogenically!

  2. Carol Parks / May 18 2011 9:18 pm

    Can I come tooooo??

  3. Jacqui / May 18 2011 10:30 pm

    What a gorgeous post, once again!! How lovely your photos are! So glad you were warmly received

  4. Nita@ModVintageLife / May 18 2011 11:12 pm

    Very lovely….love these little outings of your’s. Those containers full of flowers were very very inspiring for me. Thanks for another great tour. I have to say I get more excited about a new post from you than just about anyone else. So much inspiration here for my own cottage.

  5. janet bishop- magina / May 19 2011 12:03 am

    Beautiful. I think my friend Sue at Rabbit Run Cottage would love this garden as well.

  6. Heather / May 19 2011 12:58 am

    Linda, I love reading your blogs….your such a gifted writer and photographer. I can hear the ocean as I read the blog from DC because you make it feel so much like I’m there.

  7. Donna / Dec 9 2012 12:35 am

    This is my mother and father in laws home. So glad you were able to enjoy it!

  8. Wendy / Nov 5 2014 5:32 pm

    I was in Carmel by the Sea the first part of Oct 2014. I too was taking pictures, and this lovely woman who was tending her garden invited me to see her courtyard. Holly Oak Cottage owner! She could not have been warmer. I took pictures of her lovely courtyard and dog Daisy. She gave me the history of the her cottage as well as a brief history of one of the first original stone cottages across the lane from her. It was a highlight of my trip to be so warmly received by such a gracious lady.

    • Donna Fredericksen / Nov 12 2014 12:15 am

      That was my lovely mother in law Carole! Glad you got to visit 🙂

      • Wendy / Nov 12 2014 2:08 am

        Donna, she is lovely! It was so wonderful to be so welcomed to see her lovely/magical hideaway. I have my pictures of her lovely home and of darling Daisy! Carole and I even talked about Mr. Clint Eastwood. 😉 I lucked out and saw him the evening before walking across Ocean Ave into a home décor store. I asked for his picture, he declined. (Took one anyway from a distance!) We both agreed that even at 84, we still think he’s sexy!

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: