Gardens

This is the garden trend that high-profile New Yorkers want – according to Backyard Envy’s Garrett Magee

The celebrity landscaper has designed gardens for Calvin Klein and Diane Von Furstenberg – this is what his clientele craves

Urban garden designed by the Manscapers
(Image credit: Dane Tashima)

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. 

Urban garden designed by The Manscapers

(Image credit: Dane Tashima)

‘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.’

Backyard Envy’s James DeSantis garden renovation tips, city garden designed by the Manscapers

(Image credit: Dane Tashima)

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. 

Garrett Magee in an urban kitchen garden

(Image credit: Naked Juice X Garrett Magee)

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 (opens in new tab) – 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 the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.