Historic Gardens of Old Monterey

“The soil seems well adapted to horticulture, and the climate produces a perpetual spring” — Captain George Vancouver c. 1792

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The Spanish Revival Hotel Del Monte built in 1926. Image: Dudley Knox Library, Naval Post Graduate School
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Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo. From: A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World Vol. 11 (pg. 37) By Captain George Vancouver. Drawing by Midshipman John Sykes. circa 1792
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Contemporary “romantic” garden at Carmel Mission

The Hotel del Monte, Arizona Garden

The earliest significant landscaped garden on the Monterey Peninsula that retains much of its original design and appropriate plantings lies east of downtown on the federally-owned lands of the Naval Post Graduate School (NPS) (Del Monte Avenue at Sloat), the site of the former Hotel del Monte Be aware that the facility is off limits to civilians unless they are escorted by appropriate military personnel or are visiting during public open days

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Victorian visitors pose in the Arizona Garden
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M. Evelyn McCormick (1862- 1948) Cactus Garden, Del Monte, circa 1893–1894. Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
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Roman Plunge pool. Image: A hand-colored 1930s postcard

“Secret Gardens of Old Monterey”

Monterey State Historic Park hosts a collection of historic houses and buildings distributed throughout downtown Monterey managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Beginning at the Pacific House, the Parks’ Department calls the following sites along Monterey’s “Path of History,” a walking route marked by tiles in many languages, the “Secret Gardens of Old Monterey.”

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Pacific House Memory Garden prepared for a Merienda party. Date unknown
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Fountain in the Memory Garden. Photo. David A. Laws
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Entrance to the Whaling Station Garden. Photo: David A. Laws
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Cup of Gold Vine (Solandra maxima) at rear of the First Theatre. Photo: David A. Laws
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Casa Sobernes, House of the Blue Gate. Photo: David A. Laws
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From California Gardens by Winifred Starr Dobyns, (1931)
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Sherman Quarters in the Larkin Garden. Photo: David A. Laws
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Orchard garden planted by Frances Grate in 1985. Image: David A. Laws
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Hand colored postcard of Senorita Maria Ignatia Bonifacio and the Sherman Rose
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Casa Bonifacio at the original Alvarado Street site by M. Evelyn McCormick, circa 1935. Image: Trotter Galleries
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“Stevenson House” by M. Evelyn McCormick, circa 1925. Image: Trotter Galleries

Other Monterey historic garden sites

Landscape architect and movie set designer Florence Yoch redesigned the Doud House grounds (177 Van Buren Street) in the 1960s for the Monterey History and Art Association. Four Monterey cypress trees planted by the original owner Francis Doud in the 1860s still stand on the property. Two other Yoch gardens, Casa Alvarado (570 Dutra Street), and Casa Albrego (592 Abrego Street), a private women’s club, are not accessible to the public. Yoch began practicing in 1913 and completed more than 250 projects over the next 50 years, including grand Hollywood estates and the Tara set for the movie Gone with the Wind.

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Casa Amesti in 1958
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Vasquez Adobe by M. Evelyn McCormick, circa 1935. Image: Monterey Museum of Art
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Resources

City of Monterey Historic Preservation website

Written by

I photograph and write about Gardens, Nature, Travel, and the history of Silicon Valley from my home on the Monterey Peninsula in California.

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