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May 31, 2013 / Linda Hartong

Garden Cottage

This charming cottage and its garden catch my eye for the first time in August 2007.  I post this photo on Flickr and it rises to Explore Interesting.

carmel again 0401

This spring I am doing some research on Carmel’s Historic Register of Homes and run across a photo of this rambling ,board-and batten, Western Ranch House named the F. A Collman House. 

It begins life in 1907 as a one-room beach house designed and built by John Galen Howard, then Dean of the School of Architecture at U.C. Berkeley. The Howard’s vacation in Carmel , first in a rental home, and later in a tent on this property. “When Howard went to France in 1918 with the Red Cross, the family remained in Carmel, turning the cottage into more suitable living quarters by adding a bedroom, dining room, kitchen and bathroom.”- Kent Seavey 

“By 1927 Clara Taft was the owner of the Howard cottage. Between 1926 and 1928 she had altered and made additions to the cottage, employing the services of Carmel’s most prominent women designer/builders, Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous. 

In 1936,  Mr. F.A.Collman, a new owner, hired Hugh Comstock to do extensive alterations to the building, bringing it into its current , rambling Western Ranch House configuration.

The only plans available for the house are those prepared by Hugh Comstock .” Kent Seavey

The garden looks better each time I walk by. I watch the lawn being mowed, shrubs trimmed and plants added.

Today I decide to go in and photograph. 


The rambling nature of the cottage is already noticeable. 


Window boxes are planted.


The rose garden is in bloom.





As are the rhododendron and azaleas.



I stroll done the path. The spring foliage has already been tied up until it fades. What a conscientious gardener. 


Rounding the corner , the cottage comes into view.


The residents must spend all their time on this wonderful brick patio


Just look at the view they have to the southeast. 


The dutch-door is a cheery red.


To the west of the door is a unique little bench 


And more geranium planted window boxes.


To the east is this tiered planter filled with potted succulents and cyclamen .


The succulents love this wire basket.


Looking toward the west side of the lot is a rose arch that beckons me.


Small , fragrant roses are in bloom.


Through the arch is a path to a service area.


So I turn back around to get this great view.


There is another path to the north of the cottage


Leading to another small patio


With this sweet vignette.


You can call it “John Galen Howard” or “Clara Taft “or the “FA Collman Cottage”. I just call it charming. It is a great example of evolving design changes in Carmel’s residential architecture.


Leave a Comment
  1. lindascountrygarden / May 31 2013 1:51 am

    I really enjoy your posts – find them inspiring and look forward to them. I can almost smell the roses. Thank you for sharing!
    -Linda – a manager at Il Fornaio

  2. House Crazy Sarah / May 31 2013 2:15 am

    Beautiful and intoxicating photos – as always Linda! Now you just need to get inside!

  3. Sue / Jun 2 2013 10:00 pm

    Oh gosh it is all so lovely. Simply divine. The first photo of the garden gate had me hooked and the photos of the flowers are of course perfect. I have a soft spot for the succulents too.

  4. Inspired and pretty / Jun 3 2013 3:07 am

    Oh my goodness… This place is like paradise ! It’s amazingly beautiful ! The rose arch is a splendor, sooooo beautiful 🙂 They have a lot of flowers and shrubs, I’m sure they must hire a gardener 🙂
    Linda, your photos are gorgeous, they are superb !

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