Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Abkhazi Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia

Abkhazi Gardens is a rare treat of a garden in Victoria, Canada. Relatively unknown outside of the province, this excellent garden was the life work of two dedicated gardeners, the Georgian Prince and Princess Abkhazi - who are described by folks who knew them as completely in love with each other and their garden.

And it shows.

Currently owned by the Garden Conservancy of British Columbia, the garden is being constantly upgraded as this 80-strong, brave band of volunteers pays off the mortgage (this is a one acre parcel in the middle of the city) and continues to maintain the planting. The garden has great bones with rocks, large oak trees and waterfeatures and the plantings are complete and well-maintained. This is particularly impressive given that it is largely a volunteer effort with only a few paid staff to run this place.

Plant choices and combinations, such as the giant allium and agapanthus, are wonderful - others are too numerous to mention but I had forgotten how lovely Cerinthe is and how much I want to grow this annual flower until I saw it's blue spikes in the garden again.

Let me simply say that this garden is worth a few hours of precious travel exploration and the next time I'm in Victoria, I'd go back without having to even think about it. Great garden!


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