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September 9, 2011 / Linda Hartong


It is January 2009 and I am taking my usual Carmel morning walk when I see that a wonderful new cottage has sprung up during my absence.

Unlike some of the newer homes, this one does not overwhelm its lot or its neighbors but sits comfortably behind a unique wattle fence.

Wattle fences are made by weaving flexible green sapling wood between upright posts, like a wooden tapestry, so they’re both beautiful and strong. They were originally used to contain domestic animals, such as sheep. These days, wattle weaving is a great way to build all kinds of useful rustic garden accents from sustainably harvested wood. The garden is in its infancy and I make a note to check its progress from time to time.

By the late summer of 2010, this is already a smashing cottage garden.

Climbing roses cover the garage.

The wattle fence is obscured by plants.

I love the wattle tuteur that supports roses.

Ferns and dahlia grow in harmony. This is a visual feast.

This August of 2011, I eagerly make my way once again to the cottage to see the garden. I am in luck. When I peek over the iron gate ,

I see one of the owners bathing his dog.

We chat about the house and its design for over an hour. He  gives credit to his wife, Linda, and promises to give her my card when I ask if I might photograph the garden.

Linda is a busy Interior Designer with offices in The San Francisco Bay area and Carmel, but she makes time to call and give me permission.

I wait several days until I get some  soft light provided by incoming fog, grab my camera and walk to Biddlestone Cottage. The Floyds once drove through a village in Northumberland England named Biddlestone and tucked the name away for a cottage yet to be built.

I approach the front door

with its ornate knocker.

The front stoop has a boot-wipe and small ornament. Baby tears grow between the stones.

I later find that the stone for this house comes from Provence and that Linda loves all things French.

The wattle fence is almost covered now by plantings.

This is a very skilful planting plan. Meticulous attention is given to the spots of sun and shade and so sun-loving dahlias

and roses

as well as shade loving foxglove,


and geranium thrive.

With a backward glance toward the garage,

I start down the path to make my way through the garden.

The front window has leaded glass

with a scalloped tin detail.

I round the corner to see that this garden takes advantage of every inch of planting space. Vines climb the walls.

Plants carpet the ground between the stepping-stones

and spill out of pots.

The patio area on the south comes into view.

Wow!! I try to take in all the wonderful details

before again taking the path on around the back

and up the north side.

The back of the garage peeks around a huge oak tree.

A minuscule box maze surronds a lemon tree

by the side door

in which the glass is etched like lace.

Looking back I can see how cleverly this house is tucked into its space.

  Every where I look there are special architectural touches – a fleur-de-lys on the drain ,

a colorful screen on the garage door,

and hand-made window fasteners.

As I glance up at the door lamp, the fog softly floats by getting thicker every minute.

On last glance and I am gone.

Several days later, I return to share my photos .

We sit at the dining room table and I listen to the Floyds’ stories of building this dream home. What a unique opportunity to meet the couple that are creating this “work of art”- Biddlestone Cottage and Garden.


Leave a Comment
  1. Nita@ModVintageLife / Sep 9 2011 8:06 pm

    Oh…my this cottage is so beautiful. I can’t wait to see the inside. The gardens surrounding it are a dream. Just what I wish for my own cottage. I am going to pin these photos and return to them often. Thanks for all the inspiration…as usual….gorgeous photography by you. I look so forward to each and everyone of your posts. I feel like you go out and take these photos just for me. Oh…how I want my yard to look like those in Carmel. Oh…I know….I do not have the climate here in OK that you have there….but I can try….

  2. Carolyn / Sep 9 2011 9:23 pm

    Oh my! Where do I begin? The cottage is charming with wonderful European details. LOVE the stonework and the slate roof, the leaded bay window, the half timbering, that incredible light fixture, the etched glass on the door, the metal screen, the fountain, and even the gutters! The garden is AMAZING. Linda Floyd is very talented.

  3. kathysue / Sep 9 2011 9:47 pm

    Linda, this was an amazing tour, I think I could have stayed there all day. Every inch is done to perfection. It is so lush and inviting. All the special touches make it evident that this home is loved by it’s owners. Thank you yet again for a lovely tour of Carmels best!! Kathysue

  4. Carolyn / Sep 10 2011 9:26 pm

    Going back and enjoying these pictures again, one of the things that struck me are the wonderful old oak trees. Nothing gives a new house the feel of an old house more than having it nestle under large mature trees. I have a feeling that Carmel had restrictions about saving those trees. I wish that were true in my part of the country where old trees are typically removed because they ‘get in the way’ of the biggest house possible on an infill lot. Your photographs are wonderful, too.

  5. Nita@ModVintageLife / Sep 11 2011 8:08 am

    I just had to feature this on my blog today and send my readers over to your blog. Hope you don’t mind…..

  6. Amie Gillingham / Sep 15 2011 3:37 pm

    I can’t believe this is a new build. It looks like it’s been there for a century, at least. So perfectly sited, such attention to detail! It’s pure magic! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  7. Jacqui / Oct 17 2011 3:40 pm

    This is so lovely! Thank you for sharing with us!

  8. Phebe / Jan 23 2012 12:21 am

    Amazing how quickly this new house gained a vintage garden and wonderful character. I really enjoy your blog and love learning about Carmel.

    Hope they invite you back for an inside tour soon!

  9. Cindy / Apr 15 2012 12:41 am

    What a very charming place, I adore all the little details. The foliage, blossoms and flowers only make it prettier! What a delight it must have been to discover and photograph this darling cottage.

  10. Nazneen / Dec 5 2012 6:47 am

    Your blog warms my heart, makes me dream and makes my soul sing. Homes are extentions of ourselves and these obviously have been lovingly built and nurtured. Thank you for these wonderful visual journeys that take me along. Carmel is definitely on my bucket list!

  11. Barbara / Sep 2 2013 11:35 pm

    I have no idea how I came upon your blog, but I am in love with it!! I used to live in Los Gatos before moving to WNC. I remember coming down to Carmel and having a magical time. I also photograph, for myself, and am so amazed that you see the things I see and photograph them exactly the way I would . I feel as if I am looking through my own lens when I see your appreciation and sense of fun and enjoyment. I , now, realize that what I want most in this world is to move back to Ca. And that means to Carmel…….I am so in love with it as you obviously are. Thank you…..I am Carmel dreaming😃. I am signed up already for your emails.

  12. scarletredwill / Feb 9 2014 5:00 pm

    Now that I have seen the gardens when can we expect a home tour? I am need to see inside now.

    • Linda Hartong / Feb 9 2014 7:33 pm

      Click the link at the end of the blog to go to Linda Floyd’s website. She shows lovely interior shots of Biddlestone

  13. taxidiotes / Feb 9 2014 8:59 pm

    So relaxing and refreshing to see this!

  14. Renee Stimpfl / Feb 10 2014 12:12 am

    Stunning photographs of a beautiful cottage and it’s garden!! Thank you for sharing!

  15. Wende / Feb 10 2014 12:42 am

    Hi…..this was WonderFul…I have been SO looking forward to this winter being over..

    They have done a BeautiFul job with their property…the old rose was sublime…I hope to plant some this spring myself..David Austin of course…my mom and I use to take Sunday drives while she still could..her favorite thing was looking at the gardens and any new construction we could find…Thanks for sharing brought back some nice memories of spending the day with her……

  16. Pat Britt / Feb 10 2014 2:18 am

    Beautiful cottage and grounds! I love it and would love to see inside the cottage also.

  17. Cheryl in Wisconsin / Feb 13 2014 3:05 pm

    I will go out on a limb and say that this is the most beautiful home I have ever seen. Every detail speaks to me. If I had an opportunity to create a home that embraced My Style, this is it.

    The photography is incredible.

  18. GG / Sep 19 2015 7:09 pm

    Thanks for the beautiful photos! Your work is more beautiful than in the spendy magazines!!! I used to live in Pebble Beach in the 60s when my husband was at the Naval Post Graduate School. This was my favorite place of all the many places we lived, so this brings back fond memories of much time spent in this gorgeous place!!!

  19. Winnie / Jul 29 2016 10:45 pm

    Thank-you for discovering and sharing this cottage I wonder how many of us dream of having such a story book cottage to call home . It’s wonderful to see that someone has made the dream come true and didn’t miss even one detail by the looks of it. Perfection !

  20. Susan Flint / Oct 22 2018 11:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos of this lovely garden and home! The details are amazing! Very thoughtful, they really make it a very special place.

  21. Gregory Owens / Apr 17 2020 5:26 am

    This is my dream to have my 1952 small ranch feel and have this charm.

  22. Maryann / Aug 4 2020 3:19 pm

    So very similar to the cottage that I designed 15 years ago as my husband & my retirement cottage!
    Love seeing many similarities, thank you!


  1. Tour of Biddlestone Cottage and Garden - Keenan Construction

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