The Super Cool Easy Backyard Garden Idea

Faking that LIVED IN LOOK

Will Fisher and Charlotte Freemantle’s garden looks as if it’s been in place for a hundred years. But they CREATED IT FROM SCRATCH after moving to a London row house.

When antiques dealers Will Fisher and Charlotte Freemantle bought their house, the groundfloor kitchen had no access to the backyard garden. “The kitchen had a door leading to a tiny boxed-in patio, which made it very damp and dark,” says Will. To marry the kitchen to the garden, they doubled the size of the doors and serendipitously found some eighteenth century Portland stone steps that, “while massively overscaled, were exactly the right length to bridge the gap between the garden and the kitchen below.” At the base of the new staircase, they placed a reclaimed iron drain.

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On sunny mornings, Will and Charlotte like to start the day with coffee and the newspaper in their backyard, sitting under a mature apple tree, the only reminder of the previous owners, amid a collection of mix-and-match vintage furnishings they leave outdoors to encourage development of a patina. “Furniture and objects should look as if they’ve grown roots because they’ve been in situ for so long,” says Will. From years of collecting antique garden ornaments to sell in their shop, the couple had amassed their own trove of urns, planters and vases that they scattered about the garden to reinforce a feeling of haphazard accumulation by generations of gardeners. “I love creating environments that are entirely new but appear authentic in every way,” says Charlotte.

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