30 Oct 2022 | 2 mins
"If I won the lottery, I would buy Stonefields." Alice Stolz on The Today Show
30 Oct 2022 | 3 mins
From "just a cow paddock" to one of the world's best gardens, Stonefields in Victoria's spa region is on the market.
The owner, celebrity gardener Paul Bangay, is the go-to green thumb for the prominent and powerbrokers, and his "perfect" country property, where he has applied his preeminent touch, is to change hands.
Glorious Stonefields has been Bangay and his husband Barry McNeill's treasured home for 18 years.
Bangay has long been regarded as one of Australia's finest landscape designers.
For many years, having a timelessly-elegant Bangay garden was an attribute that helped to sell homes from Toorak to Portsea, Positano, East Hampton and the Barossa Valley, but it is time to pass the keys to his personal "paradise".
Stonefields has been listed by Forbes Global Properties' agents Michael Gibson, Robert Fletcher, Tracey Atkins and Ray Mano, with price expectations of $8 million to $8.8 million. Expressions of interest close on November 29.
Bangay said with his 60th birthday next year and gardens taking ten years to establish, he and his husband need to move on now to have the time and scope to create a "forever garden" in their next home.
He said Stonefields feels perfect, and he craves a new blank canvas. Thousands of garden lovers have taken private tours of the property over the years.
Bangay said the residence - which was created in tandem with the late interior design Stuart Rattle - and its grounds have views and privacy that lend a sense of serenity.
The estate includes a guest house and a studio.
"As a designer and owning your own property and creating something there, you want to keep working on it the whole time, and that is what I have been doing," she said.
"It has been a great love of mine to keep adding to it, changing a few things, creating a few new areas, but it has gotten to stage where I can't do that any more - it is perfect.
"I was feeling creatively stifled - so it's time to do another."
For the special handover to the buyer, Bangay said he hopes they will welcome him back to assist with tending the oasis.
'We have a gardener who has been with us since the time of inception, so he will go with the garden - hopefully, the new owner will want to keep him on," Bangay said.
"He has all the knowledge on all the working of the garden, but I hope the people will say 'can you come back once every three months, or keep an eye on it?' I'd love to do that."
Bangay said when he posted the news of the listing on his Instagram account, he was taken aback by the "extraordinary" depth of reaction from garden lovers globally.
"I didn't realise it was so loved worldwide," he said.
"It is a garden that belongs to world - it is the sum of all of my travels and inspirations."