Discover the Magic of Abkhazi Gardens
Victoria, British Columbia is renowned for its picturesque gardens, and Abkhazi Gardens is one of the most charming and distinctive ones. Nestled in a peaceful neighbourhood near the ocean, this garden tells a love story that spans continents and cultures and invites visitors to slow down and appreciate the marvels of nature. It is a garden we visit on our Victoria Drive and Walk Excursion.
The tale of Abkhazi Gardens began in the 1920s when Peggy Pemberton-Carter, a young woman living in Shanghai, met Nicholas Abkhazi, an exiled Georgian prince, in Paris. Despite their different backgrounds and circumstances, the two fell in love and continued to see each other whenever they could. However, the outbreak of WWII separated them, and Peggy endured hardship in a Japanese war camp while Nicholas was interned in Germany.
After the war, Peggy moved to Victoria to live with her friends, and she used her resources to buy a rocky and forested lot that would become the Abkhazi Gardens. Eventually, a letter from Nicholas reached her, and they reunited in New York and got married. They moved to Victoria and together, they worked tirelessly to turn their property into a remarkable garden, drawing inspiration from their travels and incorporating Japanese design principles.
Today, Abkhazi Gardens is a testament to their vision and dedication, showcasing a diverse and vibrant collection of plants that thrive in the mild and moist climate of Victoria. Visitors can wander along winding paths, admire the beauty of rhododendrons, camellias, and azaleas, and take a break in the tea house overlooking a tranquil pond. The tea house offers a traditional Japanese tea ceremony that transports guests to another world, steeped in elegance, harmony, and mindfulness.
The Abkhazi couple passed away in their nineties, but their legacy lives on, thanks to The Land Conservancy of British Columbia, which owns and manages the garden. The organization has taken great care to preserve and enhance the garden’s natural beauty while ensuring its accessibility and sustainability for generations to come.
Abkhazi Gardens is a must-see destination for anyone who loves gardens, history, and romance. It is a place where the past and the present converge in a seamless and breathtaking way, inviting visitors to slow down, breathe deeply, and appreciate the wonders of life. Abkhazi Gardens is a gem that will capture your heart and inspire your soul.