10 Belty Drive, Denver
Paul Bangay is one of the leading architects of Australian garden design. His inner-city creations spawned a generation of copycat designs, but his true genius is sculpting landscape on a grand scale, which he has done here.
At this Central Victorian showpeice, just over half an hour's drive from RACV's Goldfields Resort in Creswick, he has created a series of discrete yet connected spaces around his villa home, built to maximise its hilltop views. It is an extraordinary vision, beautifully executed.
Stand at the top of the pool and admire the view that inspired it all. It’s hard not to be impressed at how the garden frames the vista.
Paul regularly opens his garden as a fundraiser, but also offers small tours, with seasonal highlights, from tulips and crabapples in spring to the white garden in summer and perennial borders in autumn. You can stay at the Farm House on site, which includes a garden visit.
48 Harvey Street, Anglesea
While Peter Shaw and wife Simone, who run Ocean Road Landscaping, were building their home on the Anglesea heath, a short drive from RACV's Torquay Resort, they fell in love with the local plants and chose to highlight them in their garden. Blasted by salt-laden winds and hot, dry summers, they also needed plants that could survive.
Texture and form are everywhere: wind-stunted stringybark trees stretch twisted limbs over topiaried mounds of grey and green, their shapes echoed with spherical art and a circular birdbath, which can be emptied and used as a firepit. Even the lawn is mounded into shape.
One of the few pops of colour amid the grey-blue-green mosaic comes from a carmine-pink bougainvillea on a metal frame, and the contrast is dramatic.