Friday, December 27, 2013

Abkhazi Garden


In a previous posts, I mentioned that I would show pictures of a public garden in Victoria which I like particularly: the Abkhazi Garden. Not only is it a beautiful garden, it also has a romantic history.

It was created by an actual deposed prince, Nicholas Abkhazi, who married an heiress, Marjorie (Peggy) Pemberton-Carter, who had lost most of her property in the war, when both she and her future husband were interned in prisoner-of-war camps. In 1945, Peggy bought a one acre lot in Victoria, had a house built, married Nicholas Abkhazi and they set out to create a garden.

A path that leads to the Garden House




At the turn of the century, the Land Conservancy purchased the property to save it from becoming a townhouse development. Like much of Victoria, the property is on glaciated rocky slopes. One of the best tests to judge a garden is to see it in winter, when there are few things in bloom and the "bones" of the garden are more evident. This is a test the Abkhazi Garden passes with flying colours.


The house, which is in the middle of the garden


Like the Government House gardens which I featured in a previous post, this garden is beautifully maintained by volunteers.


The Garden House
A pond on one of the slopes

The numerous pictures on the Net show how colourful the garden is in spring and summer. However,  these winter views give you a better understanding of how the garden "works", as well as a feeling for the order that prevails under the informal look.




Cyclamens under the trees



13 comments:

  1. What an exquisite garden Alain, and how thankful I am for volunteers the world over, who steadfastly maintain so much for us to enjoy. I hope your Christmas and New Year celebrations are going well.

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  2. If I ever get to Victoria again I will have to look at this. I've been to Butcharts and the Japanese garden.

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  3. Are the gnarly, wild haired trees sycamores?

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    1. I don't remember what it was. There are a great many shrubs and trees difficult to identify by someone who lives in a zone 5 gardening area! Victoria is in a zone 8. They have so much more variety than we do.

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    2. Joanne, I think they are, the bark looks like it anyway.

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  4. Looks very much like a small garden I visited out there several years ago. Fascinating plantings. It was owned by the Land Conservancy too - or maybe this is it?

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  5. Some of the pictures you show looks like paradise. So much thought and design went into some of these gardens and they look wonderful. It would be great to have retreats in areas like that especially coming from a place where everything is very fast paced.

    Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year.

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  6. Lovely - I feel the cyclamen in our garden would spread in a similar way if I didn't take control.

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  7. Nothing nicer than to walk round a nice garden at Christmas

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  8. What an incredible garden! I maximized the photos to get a better view. It is really stunning. I wish my garden had that many bones. It's a bit of a squid. I love all those big rocks. But of course, if I was digging in the soil there, I might have a different perspective. :)

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  9. Beautiful! I love the pond and the stones. I really regret we never saw this garden when we were in Victoria - though I didn't even know about it before seeing this post.

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    1. You will have to make an other trip Jason! For gardeners, I expect spring is the best time to see Victoria. We have a very strange knowledge of the city as we have spent 2 months here, every year for the last 6, but always December and January! The Abkahzie garden is lovely at this time of the year but it must be striking in the growing season. Happy New Year.

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  10. The "winter" gardens seem more child-friendly -- fewer flowers to be yelled at for touching.
    I want to curl up on the other side of the rocks in the second-last picture, and read a book.

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It is always nice to hear from you (et il n'est pas nécessaire de commenter en anglais)