By Megan Slack
When it comes to celebrity gardens, there are those who are attuned to crazes – and those who create them. Backyard Envy’s Garrett Magee falls into the latter category.
The Bravo star has spent over a decade shaping the most fashionable exterior spaces across Manhattan – and counts the likes of Sies Marjan and Calvin Klein amongst his clientele.
So, when H&G sat down with Garrett, there were two questions on our lips: What are New York’s elite wanting from their backyards and what are the garden trends this season? And, of course, Garrett didn’t disappoint.
Sharing his small garden ideas from the heart of the concrete jungle, Garrett offered a glimpse into the most fashionable garden trends you’re going to want to follow.
‘Many of our high-profile clients want two things: First, they want privacy. It’s hard to get privacy from neighbors in the city when dwellings are so close together, and most don’t consider building a fence to be a realistic first option,’ Garrett explains.
So, what is the plant of choice? ‘We use greenery to create privacy, using shrubs as a divider and layering plants in front to make it look as natural as possible,’ he says.
Meanwhile, for celebrity-approved outdoor dining ideas, Garrett revealed that he and the Manscapers team often ‘build pergolas and train vines to grow up and over to create a more intimate experience.’
However, as Garrett previously hinted, private gardens aren’t the only craze causing a buzz across the city.
‘We have recently noticed a trend, which we have adopted as our signature, of landscaping in a way that doesn’t look landscaped. Meaning, we will use native plants that create a very natural, loose feel,’ Garrett explains.
'These native-style plants are designed with the goal of making the exteriors look as though they have been there all along. Complete with little pops of color that bloom at different times of the year and offer something new to look at every season,’ Garrett adds.
Plus, for more garden ideas that are increasingly popular across the concrete jungle, Garrett suggests creating an edible garden – something many of his clients desire at present.
‘I don’t just think that is exclusive to New York, but that has been the number one request from people there. Everybody wants to grow their own vegetables,’ Garrett says. This follows the designer’s work with Naked Juice – who investigated the benefits of edible gardens following the pandemic.
While planning a kitchen garden can feel challenging in a cityscape, Garrett suggests this trend isn’t going anywhere. So, if you’re debating an edible garden, you'll be in good company.
Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly enjoys writing about upcoming styles and trends for Homes & Gardens. Megan also loves discovering vintage pieces in her spare time, meaning her decor is largely influenced by the beauty of the jazz age.
This English 18th century mansion is full of modern comforts – and surprises
As the owners updated this gracious Georgian home they realized they were taking it back to its starting point as the ultimate party house
By Karen Darlow •
Kitchen diner ideas – 11 ways to create a true social hub for family time
A kitchen-dining-living space offers great versatility for the way we live today
By Jennifer Ebert •
How to prune a lemon tree
Learn how to prune a lemon tree to maximize fruit production and keep the plant in good shape
By Melanie Griffiths •
5 clever design tricks to steal from this large English garden
Designer Jeremy Allen shares his tips for bold garden structure reinforced by select mass and repeat plantings from his own majestic plot
By Rhoda Parry •
How to prune basil – and the best time to do it
Find out how to prune basil plants the right way for healthy, bushy plants that last longer
By Rachel Crow •
How to test the pH of soil – the science explained for beginners
What is pH in soil and how can the right levels help you get the best results from your garden? Here, we tell you how to test the pH of soil at home
By Sarah Wilson •
Monty Don's tips for ripening green tomatoes will give you a better harvest, even in September
Tomatoes not ripening? Use the gardening guru's clever tips to turn the green fruit red quickly
By Anna Cottrell •
How to prune raspberries
Learn how to prune summer and autumn fruiting raspberries to ensure a bumper crop
By Pippa Blenkinsop •
Garden storage ideas – 10 practical ways to keep your backyard organized
These storage ideas for gardens will help you find what you need to get the job done quickly, and stop your backyard feeling cluttered and chaotic
By Jennifer Ebert •
How to prune lilac
Discover how to prune lilac to keep it look great and flowering every year
By Holly Reaney •