Follow along on Thursday as the Manscapers execute a suburban oasis.

By Nicole Bradley

You’ve seen plenty of interior design shows, but exterior design is having its (well-deserved) moment. Bravo’s new show, Backyard Envy, is trading backsplashes and sinks for hostas and planter boxes.

Image courtesy of Bravo
BACKYARD ENVY -- Season:1 -- Pictured: (l-r) James DeSantis, Melissa Brasier, Garrett Magee -- (Photo by: Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo)

Backyard Envy is backed by three landscaping professionals (and best friends)—James DeSantis, Garrett Magee, and Melissa (Mel) Braiser—otherwise known as the Manscapers, a la their landscape design firm in Brooklyn. The show hones in on exterior space transformations, gardening, hardscaping, and landscape planning—all while dealing with multiple clients and tight deadlines.

The whole Manscapers idea actually started at Mel’s home. “Every spring we would sort of revamp her backyard and throw a garden party. Then it just started by word of mouth. People were seeing what we’d do the space, then would ask ‘Oh, can we have this done at our space?’” says James, one of the pros. After revamping a few terraces, rooftop gardens, and urban backyards, their business gained traction and became well-known throughout the NYC metropolitan area.

Related: Before and After Small Garden Makeover

The Manscapers revolutionize outdoor spaces by adding hardscape elements, outdoor furniture, and plant life. Image courtesy of Bravo
BACKYARD ENVY -- Pictured: Backyard -- (Photo by: Kathy Boos/Bravo)

Although they work together throughout the design process, James, Garrett, and Mel all have their specialties. “I meet with the client to procure new jobs and then to start the design process. Then I figure out the budget and where we’re gonna land with all of their wants and needs and decide what we can build, which is where Mel comes in,” says James. Mel draws up the plan and decides how to execute all of the hard elements in the space. Lastly, Garrett comes through and decides what plant life and horticulture will look best.

The Manscapers’ next challenge? The suburbs. Tune in to Bravo on Thursday night at 10/9c to catch this dream team taking on their first on-camera makeover.



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