“THE FENCE THAT MAKES GOOD NEIGHBORS….. NEEDS A GATE TO MAKE GOOD FRIENDS”
Carmel-by-the Sea’s architectural richness is due in part to it’s unique fences and walls. I am not sure how this keen desire for privacy developed. It many 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)
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 have started a correspondence 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.”