Celebrity landscaper Garrett Magee reveals his most unconventional planting tip – and why it works in all gardens

The Backyard Envy star is among New York's most established landscapers – this is what he does differently

Backyard Envy’s James DeSantis versatile planting tips
(Image credit: Dane Tashima)

Manscapers designer Garrett Magee has curated gardens for the likes of Calvin Klein and Diane von Furstenberg – but which unorthodox garden secrets lay behind his success? 

Of course, when H&G caught up with Garrett, we were determined to uncover his favorite garden quirks  – and you can experiment with his unconventional garden idea – whatever the size of your backyard. 

Following a decade in Manhattan's urban backyards, Garrett has mastered the art of small space gardening, but his most unique tip epitomizes city gardening – and ensures your plants grow healthier. 

Urban garden designed by The Manscapers

(Image credit: Dane Tashima)

'I do a lot of container gardens in the city and often use large pots and planters that require a lot of soil,' Garrett shares.

'A good tip on how to save space is to repurpose the plastic containers your plants come in. Simply place them upside down at the bottom of your pot as a base for your plants to save on space and make your pots lighter so you can move them around easily,' he explains. 

But what else does he suggest when taking care of small pots in all conditions? Alongside using large pots, Garrett then explains that he raises his pots and planters onto pot feet – 'which means you can put anything underneath your pot to raise them above the ground.'

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

(Image credit: Dane Tashima)

'It helps with drainage, and – in the winter – it helps keep the pots off the floor and above the harsh winters that can be hard on the plant. Just raising them by one inch can help so much,' Garrett says. 

Plus, while Garrett's container gardening idea is the star's most unusual piece of advice, he continues to explain his growing tips for small gardens from the heart of the concrete jungle. 'Take advantage of your vertical space. That is a really good way to create an edible garden – especially in urban gardens,' he says.

'Use things like peas, squash, or cucumbers that you can grow vertically.' Garrett suggests investing in a trellis, but all vertical structures work effectively in urban gardens, whatever the size. 

Garrett Magee in an urban kitchen garden

Garrett Magee

(Image credit: Naked Juice X Garrett Magee)

'Even if you don't get a trellis, you can use existing structures such as a pole or even a ladder – even if you just have a fire escape, you can grow things vertically. Use anything as simple as that,' Garrett adds. 

Vegetable garden trellis ideas will benefit your crops, save space, and make your pots feel lighter. And we praise this unconventional teaching. 

For more inspiration, Garrett partnered with Naked Juice to explore the benefits of edible gardens in all conditions. More information is available via their website. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. 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.