The Plot Thickens
Australian House & Garden Magazine|December 2020
In his new book, garden designer Paul Bangay returns to a beloved subject, his Stonefields property in country Victoria, and reflects on the evolving changes – in climate and his own thinking – that impact on his garden.
Elizabeth Wilson
Paul Bangay has been in a reflective mood lately. Arguably Australia’s most famous garden designer, Paul has just completed a book documenting life in his garden at Stonefields, the property he shares with his husband Barry, in the Central Highlands of Victoria. It’s not his first book on the subject. He wrote his first, The Garden at Stonefields, back in 2013, when the garden was young. In this latest book, the garden is older and things have changed – and not just in a botanical sense.

“For a start, my priorities and interests have changed over the years, and these are reflected in the way the garden has evolved,” says Paul. “I first developed the garden 16 years ago and that’s a long time in terms of design. At the time, I was obsessed with straight lines, formality and geometric forms. But I’m mellowing in my old age and I’ve fallen in love with meandering lines and softer forms and shapes. The garden is becoming much less formal that I had originally planned it to be.”

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