Paul Bangay is one of Australia's leading landscape designers who has been commissioned for public and private work throughout Australia, America and Europe.
Bangay was born on 5 December 1963 in Melbourne, Australia and raised in Vermont, an eastern suburb of Melbourne. Bangay spent his youth learning through experience in his parents garden with input from both his mother and father, themselves both keen gardeners.
Bangay studied at Burnley College (now part of Melbourne University), Australia's oldest landscape and horticultural school. Bangay graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticulture) in the first year a degree course was offered. In 1994, Bangay was granted a scholarship from the Melbourne Arts Centre for Artistic Endeavour to travel for six months studying landscape design in America, Europe and South America, studying with landscaping luminaries including David Hicks and Roberto Burle-Marx.
Bangay has received the following awards:
1989 - Mobil Pegasus Award for the best contribution to the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts
2001 - Centenary Medal awarded for outstanding achievement within the Australian community at the commencement of the new century. In particular, for service in designing and constructing the 'Aids Garden' at the Alfred Hospital.
Bangay began contributing to landscape design literature in 1996 with his first book, The Defined Garden and has since written five other books which include:
- The Defined Garden (1996)
- The Boxed Garden (1998)
- The Balanced Garden (2003)
- The Enchanted Garden (2005)
- Paul Bangay's Garden Design Handbook (2008)
- Paul Bangay's Guide to Plants (2011)
Each of Bangay's books have been accompanied by photographs by noted food, garden and interiors photographer Simon Griffiths.
Further, Bangay has contributed to many periodicals including: Australian Vogue, Vogue Living and Vogue Entertaining; Italian Vogue; Australian Belle; American House and Garden; English House and Garden; Australian Elle; Mode Australia; Australian Country Living; Inside Out; Australian Women's Weekly, USA Traditional Home; Australian House and Garden; Better Homes & Gardens.
Bangay's designs are often featured in books and magazines- recent entries include:
- House and Garden Aus. May 2011
- Rural Australian Gardens by Myles Baldwin
- Kitchen Gardens of Australia by Kate Herd
- Hamptons Gardens by Jack Delashmet
Leading by example
Bangay has created at least three gardens for himself, each increasing in scale and complexity. Bangay's initial own garden design was achieved in a small terrace garden in Prahan, Victoria. Bangay followed this with a large 4 acre 'house' garden in Woodend, known as St Ambrose Farm where Bangay bought a former Catholic school site and renovated the building, turning it into a residence and converting the grounds into a detailed, terraced garden. This garden was the subject of Bangay's book The Enchanted Garden. Following this, Bangay moved on to take on an even larger scaled landscape project, designing both the house and garden which he has named, Stonefields. This house and garden was created in farmland, 10 minutes out of Daylesford at Denver, Victoria.
On occasion, Bangay's gardens are open to the public- this is in conjunction with the Australian Open Garden Scheme.
Janelle McCulloch in "The Modern Kitchen Garden" (2011) said he has "extraordinary talent and creativity" and said that his designs are noted for "precise angles, perfect symmetry, strong sight lines and rich detail."
-  Crittall, Ron; Atkinson, Lee; Llewellyn, Marc and Mylne, Lee,"Frommer's Australia 2010," Wiley, 2010. ISBN 978-0-470-48214-8. Page 650. Retrieved 4 November 2011
-  McCulloch, Janelle "The modern kitchen garden: design, ideas and practical tips,"The Images Publishing Group, 2011. Page 95. ISBN 978-1-86470-421-1 Retrieved 4 November 2011.