Irish Rose a Fairytale Cottage

Once Upon A Time … Tales from Carmel by the Sea

by Linda Hartong

Irish Rose Stone Wall“My wild Irish Rose, the sweetest flower that grows.You may search everywhere, but none can compare with my wild Irish Rose.”

Irish Rose is one of the newer cottages in Carmel. She is lovely in any light, but seems to prefer Carmel fog. Her owners obviously love her and lavish her with quality details. Unique windows, plaques, lanterns, inserts, and copper gutters.

She sits across the street from the Jay’s Nest which I am photographing today.
I decide to enter the gate. I ring the door bell and when no one responds, put my card under the knocker. A Scarab beetle observes me from above the door. I stare for a while until I am sure he is not real.

I exit and take some shots from outside the wall. Such a pretty house.

I love the complex roofline and the slate tiles. The iron gate is ornamented with shamrocks. A Carin has been constructed out of stones, driftwood and even a feather. Cairns are used as a memorial or landmark.

Irish Rose Front GateI can see a mulched path along the front. From which to watch the action at the bird feeders. Colorful plantings and small birdhouses add to the charm.

I leave, determined to find out more about this home when I am back in Carmel again.

I am invited to tour Biddlestone Cottage and Garden

Once Upon A Time … Tales from Carmel by the Sea

by Linda Hartong

Biddlestone Cottage 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. Biddlestone Cottage Garden Window 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 skillful 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 foxgloves, fuchsia, 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.

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