Mel Brasier, Garrett Magee, and James DeSantis – otherwise known as The Manscapers team – have curated gardens for the most prestigious of designers across Los Angeles and New York City.
While their esteemed clientele includes fashionable figures Sies Marjan and Calvin Klien, the team are celebrities in their own right, following their successful Bravo series Backyard Envy.
Following the series, the team has acquired A-lister approved backyard ideas which H&G was keen to steal after sitting down with the designers. Mel, Garrett, and James share what we need to know.
The most popular garden design element among celebrities – according to The Manscapers
'Privacy is the one request we get over and over, from both our 'regular' and celebrity clients,' Mel and Garrett begin. They continue: 'Being in an urban setting can make you feel like you're in a fishbowl at times with countless windows looking into your space, or having a backyard neighbor just a few feet from you while trying to relax. We have come up with some pretty creative solutions to let the plants act as a natural privacy screen.'
But which plants are best for garden privacy ideas? According to James, one of the best plants to pick up is a 'giant parlor palm' whose tropical leaves are not only suitable for privacy but for creating a flow between your interior and exterior space, too.
James suggests buying interior plants that are big, like a giant parlor palm', and putting them in a small planter 'outside your window, terrace, or door – then in the winter, you can bring it back inside. If you have a big sliding glass door, it looks like you are doubling that space. Your living room becomes two living rooms,' he adds.
Plus, Design Director at David Andersen offers further private garden ideas, suggesting shrubs are an ‘attractive way’ to conceal your outdoor space.
‘Many shrubs and trees can be purchased in their mature forms, typically up to three meters for shrubs and up to six meters for trees. The right plants can be used in strategically placed pots or planted into the ground, and many varieties can be found trained onto large 2m x 2m bamboo frames.’
‘Laurel is brilliant for screening your garden too. It’s evergreen, so it’s effective all year round and tolerant to all types of weather. It also multiplies, creating a lush, long-lasting screen – and its glossy bright green leaves are the perfect aesthetic for contemporary spaces. Common laurel also gives off a glorious almond scent when its leaves are crushed,’ David adds.
Finally, bamboo is another way to inject a tropical aesthetic in your garden whilst preserving privacy, as ‘both the golden bamboo and black stemmed varieties grow up to two meters tall and are particularly bushy,’ David explains. ‘They’re also beautiful for those that want to achieve a contemporary and zen, yet natural look to their outdoor space.’
We now have every excuse to invest in some new shrubs and bamboo – it has the celebrity approval, after all. For more roof garden ideas from The Manscapers Team, their upcoming book Take it Outside is a great read.
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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.
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