ISSUE 39  |  Old Meets New

An Antiques Collector’s Garden in London

September 28, 2012 4:30 PM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

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Key moments with some blurry edges—a drunken reveler's memory of the night before? On the contrary, it's London antiques dealer Will Fisher's design solution to a long and narrow garden.

The neighborhoods of London are replete with terraced houses whose gardens are only as wide as the house. A garden 20 feet wide and 125 feet long presents a design challenge. And Fisher—who is rather fond of collecting—took an intuitive approach. “I knew we needed to break the length down into separate spaces, so I built the pond at the back as a focal point,” he says. “After that, I just filled it with whatever seemed right. I always think a garden looks better full.”

N.B. To tour Fisher's house, see At Home with London's Antiques Whisperer.

Photography by Christine Hanway for Gardenista.

Above: In the first section of his garden, Fisher creates a small path with pavers set into grass. The abundant foliage blurs the edges of the garden wall.

Above: A brick walkway marked by antique stone cannons forms the second part of Fisher's garden.

Above: A small walled garden acts as foyer to the pond, the culminating and focal point of the garden.

Above: An espaliered fruit tree (L) and perennial vines.

Above: While the pond is formal in its classic design, Fisher has an ad hoc approach to the placement of his potted plants.

Above: Even the top of the wall becomes a surface for potted plants.

Above: "I wanted the pond to fill the back of the garden," Fisher says. A centerpiece of succulents was an impromptu idea of a friend.

Above: Walking back toward the house through a forest of ferns and wildflowers.

Above: A plethora of wildflowers claim their patch in Fisher's garden.

Above: A view of the garden from the door at garden level headlines the blurriness of Fisher's edges, giving the impression of being in a wider garden.

Above: Potted succulents—a mobile garden—currently in residence next to a bench.

Above: Fisher plays with the different scales of small succulents in terra cotta pots with large leafy plants in grand classical urns.

Above: The garden is accessible from two levels, the basement and the ground floor.

Above: The steps down to the basement entry are lined with foliage.

(N.B. Will Fisher's long and narrow garden is approximately 20 feet wide by 125 feet long. For another narrow garden with a very different solution, see "Small-Scale Gardening in San Francisco.")