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With its mesmerising gardens, Stonefields is a feast for the eyes and so it should be. The 50-acre spread has been the private home and showplace of Paul Bangay, Australia's renowned landscape designer, for nearly two decades.
His private sanctuary, the estate is in the rolling foothills near the pre-Gold Rush town of Kyneton in central Victoria. The metropolis of Melbourne, the state capital, is slightly more than an hour away.
The home’s country gardens have been a place for Bangay to experiment―a living laboratory of sorts. They were designed to function as several separate rooms with landscaping to protect the spaces from the wind. Each has a focal point.
The Tuscan-inspired residence, with interiors that Bangay curated, is entered through a series of these gardens. A courtyard off the motor court offers the first glimpse of the house through a circular window carved into a hedge.
Flowering perennials, fountains and walkways fill the garden pavilions, which continue to the residence. There’s a white garden featuring water lilies, a red rose garden and woodland gardens.
Bangay’s penchant for geometric shapes is evident in the tightly trimmed shrubbery, precise lines and blocky wall-like hedges. He describes his style as classic with a contemporary edge, enduring yet fresh. Parterre terraces lead to the front door.
Once inside the four-bedroom, three-bathroom house, a hallway leads straight through to the back where views take in the pool and valley on the other side. This yard displays his affinity for symmetry with mirror-like landscaping on either side of the long pool.
The interiors feel substantial with stone floors, thick wooden French door surrounds and chunky kitchen countertops. A door hidden among the dark wooden bookshelves beside the living room fireplace leads to the primary suite.
Peacocks strut the expansive grounds where Japanese crab apple trees shower their blossoms. But the estate is more than just its gardens and home. Stonefields is also made up of pastureland where cattle graze.
The grounds contain a guesthouse and private office as well.