Sunday, 17 May 2015

See Victoria`s impressive Abkhazi Gardens and try their afternoon tea

by Keith and Heather Nicol   
The Gardens include 3 small ponds
 The next day Friday May 15 we decided to see another of Victoria’s gardens and we were again joined by Keith’s brother Bruce and his wife Mary Ellen. The Abkhazi Garden is located in downtown Victoria on a large residential lot and initially was created by Peggy and Nicholas Abkhazi in the late 1940’s. They first met in Paris in the 1920’s and although separated by war they became reacquainted in New York and moved to Victoria and were married in 1946. They built a bungalow on top of a small rocky hill and proceeded to create a fascinating garden on their 1 acre property. The property had large native Garry oaks and glacially carved rock which defined the basic structure of the garden.   Today the house and grounds are part of The Land Conservancy which is designed to preserve the heritage house and gardens. The house has been transformed into a stylish tea house and gift shop and we opted for the afternoon tea to be served on the sunny patio. After a delicious sampling of small sandwiches, scones, tarts and tea we set out to explore the gardens.  At this time of year the rhododendron woodland garden was very colourful and well worth seeing on its own.  Some of the rhododendron plants are very large and close to 50 years old! There is also a small summerhouse at the edge of property and many other short trails that give different views of both the garden and surrounding landscape. If you like gardens and classic English tea then you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Abkhazi Garden. For more information on the Tea House see:  and for more information on the garden see: 
We enjoyed afternoon tea on the patio

Heather walking past one of the large rhododendrons

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