> Skip to content

Q&A  •  3 November 2016

 

Paul Bangay Q&A

The much-loved garden designer discusses his unique landscape philosophy.

What is it about country gardens that continues to capture your imagination?
For me country gardens are all about scale: the expanse of large lawns, the depth and breadth of garden beds and the diversity of plants that space affords you. The softness that flows from all these elements completely captivates me.

How would you describe your gardening philosophy?
My philosophy involves time as a large component. I try to create gardens that are both timeless and contemporary – classic in their layout yet soft in their layering. Another important part of my philosophy is appropriateness: the garden should belong to the site and even more importantly to the style of architecture it surrounds. 

Is there a garden in the book that you think encapsulates your gardening philosophy?
My own garden at Stonefields certainly encapsulates all my design philosophies. Free from the constraints of clients and timelines, I can express exactly how I feel.

Can you tell us about a particularly challenging aspect of one (or more) of the gardens featured in the book, and how you overcame the challenge(s)?
Mt Algidus in New Zealand presented huge challenges due to its climatic conditions. This location high in the South Island alps of New Zealand, where it regularly snows and is subject to intense winds, presented a huge challenge in terms of the planting scheme. I protected the garden from the winds by planting hedges to protect the beds. The plants were then selected utilising my experience from Stonefields where it also snows and is subject to wind. 

What’s a weapon in your gardening arsenal that Bangay fans may find surprising?
My love of roses and colour. As I mature I grow more and more in love with softer colourful planting schemes. 

Do you feel as if your style has changed over the years?
My style is always changing. As a designer it’s important not to become complacent and staid in your style. As mentioned, I am softening with my planting schemes. This is major change to my previous, more formal style of planting. I am also exploring organic shapes and lines with my layout and architecture in the garden – the relationship between objects in the garden is becoming less rigid and more fluid. 

What, would you say, has gardening taught you about life?
I would like to say it’s taught me patience, as it should, but sadly it hasn’t. I can wait patiently for a tree to grow but I am always in a hurry to create new planting schemes or new areas in my own garden. My partner Barry is always telling me to slow down and take our time in the development of the house and garden, but I never listen. 

 


Paul Bangay's Country Gardens Paul Bangay

Feast your eyes on these to-die-for gardens, each of which features Paul’s distinctive simplicity and elegance, as he writes passionately of his deeply personal relationship with each property and its owners.

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Q&A
Phillip Gwynne Q&A

Bestselling author of DEADLY, UNNA? on his latest coming-of-age YA novel, THE BREAK.

Q&A
Q&A with Molly Oldfield

Bursting full of children’s curiosity Everything Under the Sun is a glorious celebration of life on earth.

Q&A
Five Minutes with Mem Fox

Five minutes with one of Australia’s most beloved children’s authors

Q&A
Charlotte McConaghy Q&A

'I want reading my novels to feel like walking through a forest or swimming in the ocean, to offer a breath of fresh air and remind readers of the beauty that still remains in the world.'

Q&A
How I wrote it: Femi Fadugba on The Upper World

The debut author of the YA novel soon to hit Netflix on discipline, working with Daniel Kaluuya, and the complications of writing about time travel.

Q&A
Sophie Overett Q&A

The Penguin Literary Prize winner on inspiration, advice and what's next.

Q&A
Abigail Balfe Q&A

Meet the author-illustrator and autism advocate behind A Different Sort of Normal.

Q&A
Anna Zobel Q&A

Meet Anna Zobel, author and illustrator of Little Gem.

Q&A
Fiona McIntosh on DCI Jack Hawksworth

The bestselling author discusses tapping back into Jack's world, twisty-turny stories and her favourite crime dramas.

Q&A
Josephine Moon Q&A

The Jam Queens author on the joy of writing foodie fiction.

Q&A
Shirley Marr Q&A

A Glasshouse of Stars author on second-person narration, immigration and childhood fears.

Q&A
Maggie Shipstead Q&A

The Great Circle author on inspiring travel, research and spending seven years on her latest novel.

Looking for more Q&As?

See all Q&As