Victoria is known worldwide for its beautiful gardens. One of them, tucked away in a quiet residential area, is the Abkhazi Garden; an acre of tranquility close to the city.
The property was developed over 40 years by an exiled Georgian Prince, Nicholas Abkhazi and his bride Marjorie (Peggy) Pemberton-Carter, who enlisted the help of some of Victoria’s most skillful horticulturists to create a garden that makes effective use of the natural rock formations so that the garden appears to meld with the native fauna.
The story of Nicholas and Peggy began in Paris during the 1920’s and this remarkable couple endured many hardships including internment in separate prisoner-of-war camps during World War II. They were reunited in Victoria and married in 1946, and enjoyed many years creating and refining their garden.
After the couple died the property changed hands a few times, and at one point was in danger of becoming a high-density townhouse complex, but in 2000 it was saved from destruction by The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) a charitable land trust modelled on the British National Trust.
Many of the feature plants in the garden are now fifty years old and stunning specimens representing west coast design. Native Garry Oak, Japanese maples, conifers, rhododendrons and carpets of naturalized bulbs along with alpine and woodland companion plants provide a display of form, bloom and foliage colour throughout the year. The atmosphere in this garden is gentle, tranquil and relaxing whether on a sunny summer morning or a foggy fall evening.
People who are living in Victoria can take their visitors to the Abkhazi Garden to enjoy a few hours of viewing followed by a delicious meal in the restaurant or shopping for unique gifts at the store. Profits from these ventures go towards the mortgage on the property as well as other conservation campaigns of The Land Conservancy.