One of Australia’s highest profile landscape designers, Paul Bangay, has recently turned his attention to the creation of small landscape spaces. Marshall White was lucky enough to catch up with Paul and discuss his new book Small Garden Design.
In 2018, Paul Bangay was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to landscape architecture. His life is divided between local and international commissions plus his Stonefields country garden near Daylesford.
Paul has previously written eight books and his latest turns his attention from the spectacular large-scale gardens for which he is best known.
The book reflects a shift in Australian homes with more people living in apartments, townhouses and terraces. But Paul maintains it’s not impossible to squeeze a dream garden into smaller outdoor spaces.
So what are the top priorities for clients with a small space and how does Paul advise clients on prioritising their needs?
“Most clients demand a lot from a small space and managing these expectations is key to the entire design process,” said Paul.
“Editing their needs would be the top priority, what is the most important use of the garden and I usually find this is outdoor dining or entertaining.
“Beauty of course must always be at the forefront of this process , we try and place beauty above all else,” he said.
Small Garden Design features chapters on Balconies & Terraces, Rooftops, Inner City, Lightwells and Courtyards with lots of practical tips.
“A top tip is to disguise the boundaries as much as possible, you can do this with the use of mirrors or by planting in great depth,” said Paul. “Deep plantings of creepers or shrubs creates depth and shadow , if you then paint the boundary wall a dark colour it will disappear even further,” he said.
Often as our space declines, we demand more from our garden and the challenge becomes to cater for all things. “Small gardens are always more challenging, the lack of space, the high demands of recreational use and intense human traffic all make it difficult to create a small garden,” said Paul.
Small Garden Design is both accessible and practical book with plenty of practical advice on how to make the most of the small space you have, and how to transform it into your dream space.