Celebrity Landscaper Paul Bangay

by Saturday, October 29, 2016

My Husband, James, is afraid of Paul Bangay. He gets very nervous every time I mention the name of one of Australia’s top landscape designers. Why? Because he knows it means Paul has inspired an idea – (that James will have to bring in to fruition!)

I’ve always loved gardens, growing up on Sydney’s North Shore our family garden was lovely. Mum and I adored our Camellias, azaleas, hydrangeas – pretty much everything that turns up its toes where I live now.

However, that hasn’t put me off, quite the opposite actually! Since moving to the country and realising that a garden can be, as my father-in-law says “as big as you can handle,” I’ve become obsessed. That doesn’t mean I’m skilled, but that’s where a good book or magazine comes into play.

Lunch

When James said I had developed a skill for “bringing things home to die” his Mum stepped in and introduced me to Paul’s gardening books, that’s where the love affair began. I took from his books that a Mediterranean-style garden was the right style for me – meaning you couldn’t kill it if you tried! – Olive trees, lavender, roses, wisteria, hedges, blossoms etc. Paul ‘s books explained easy ways to make something simple look sublime.

Paul not only designs on a superior level, but he also inspires the average Joe like me along the way. Paul and I have now become great friends (the short of the long is that I called him up and declared my love!) We now talk non-stop about gardens, travel and all things beautiful and I recently asked him some questions I thought may be of interest to you…

 

1. My boys get out into the garden as much as possible, which I love! What influence did your parents have on your gardening?
Mum gave me a space in the garden when I was about the age of seven or eight, about the size of a sandpit, and said “it’s your space, you can do whatever you want with it.” That faith was amazing, but my love for gardening started before then. My Mum has always been interested in gardens and we were always out the garden with her. I saw her love for it and that inspired me. I thought, “I want to give that a go.” My own little space developed so much pride, so it was a great move on Mum’s behalf.

 

Paul Bangay 1

 

2. What influence does travel have over your creativity?
Every time a student comes to me stuck on ideas, I say “the most important thing you can do is travel.” You just see so many things that inspire you. You broaden your palette, you’re exposed to so much and you don’t necessarily have to even visit a garden. You can get inspired by the streets of London or Berlin, window displays and architectural features. Inspiration is everywhere.

3. What’s the one mistake most people make when designing their own garden?
Scale, they under-scale everything. A lot of people plant too many things that are too small or pick the space too small.

4. What do you look for when creating a good garden?
When planning a garden you not only have to have ample water and good soil, you also need good drainage. Gotta have good drainage. My current location in Melbourne is superb.

5. What’s your favourite coffee table book?
Doris Duke’s Shangri-La: A House in Paradise. In the 30’s and 40’s she created an amazing property in Hawaii with a beautiful garden. It’s about her collecting all this Islamic art. It’s simply amazing.

6. What’s your favourite flower?
Probably Wisteria. You go through Winter then all of a sudden the wisteria come out. You’ve got this lovely flower that smells beautiful and is tough!

7. Favourite flower shop?
Flowers Vasette and Domain Flowers (Both in Melbourne)

8. Favourite garden shears?
Velco are the best.

9. Favourite work boots (Paul always has the coolest) ?
Dungarees.

10. Where do you buy your outdoor furniture?
Ecco or Kosh Living.

11. What plant catalogues do you source from?
Lambley Nursery, Frogmore Gardens and Tesselaars for my Tulips.

12. Best fertiliser?
Dynamic Lifter.

13. Who’s garden would you love to design?
Oooh, I’d love to do the Queens!

STAY:

If you’d love to see one of Paul’s magnificent gardens for yourself, complete with all the inspiration you need to have your thumb turn green, you’ll be glad to discover you can now stay at his amazing ‘The Farmhouse’ – located on his beautiful property in Victoria!

The Farmhouse is a chic, yet cosy, four bedroom home complete with an open-plan kitchen and dining room, plus a large sitting room and wood-fire heater – your Winter escape awaits!

Each room looks out onto flowering perennials or cascading groves of crab apples, fruit trees and the large vegetable garden. You’re also free to roam around the beautiful Stonefields gardens.

TO BOOK:

Visit Stonefields Farmhouse website for bookings and availabilities.

Stonefields

TOURS:

You can also experience the Stonefields magic each season with a personal tour of the garden – conducted by Paul himself! Groups are kept to a small and intimate number to provide a more personal experience.

Book signing opportunities and a yummy morning tea are provided after the tour, giving you the chance to mingle with Paul on a more informal basis.

Secure your spot today so you don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity – visit the Stonefields Private Tours site for availabilities and bookings.

If you’re seeking some more tips, inspiration, or to buy one (or all!) of Paul’s books, visit his website.

Happy gardening dear reader!

Stonefields 2