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Profile Last Updated: May 12, 2008
The Abkhazi Garden, in Fairfield, is unique and beautiful. It was designed to make the most of the natural rocky slopes and native Garry oak landscape. This magnificent garden was built around the rock and also uses deeper soiled areas for Japanese maples and rhododendrons. The variety of bulbs and trees that live within the garden are gorgeous, but it is the design of the one acre garden that continually amazes visitors.
Garden of Love
The story of the Abkhazis and their garden began in Paris, in the 1920s, with a meeting between Marjorie (Peggy) Pemberton-Carter and the exiled Georgian Prince Nicholas Abkhazi. Through the years, the pair nurtured a strong friendship, but lost touch during the Second World War, when both were prisoners of war. Upon her release, Peggy went to San Francisco before buying a lot in Victoria, which would become the Abkhazi Garden. In January of 1946, Peggy received a letter from Nicholas. After a brief meeting in New York, they returned to Victoria and were married in November of 1946. This marked the beginning of their garden, which they continued to create, maintain and improve for over 40 years. Today, you can visit the Abkhazi home. Enjoy tea and scones, browse through the garden and its shop, and view the archival photographs that tell the story of the Abkhazis’ life and love.
The Land Conservancy to the Rescue
When Nicholas died in 1987, Peggy remained in their home until 1989. After her death in 1994, the Garden was shuffled around before it was purchased, in 2000, by The Land Conservancy of British Columbia. The Land Conservancy saved the Abkhazi Garden from being destroyed to make way for a townhouse development. The Land Conservancy is a charitable land trust. They are still fundraising to try and pay off the remaining mortgage, in order to secure the future of the Abkhazi Garden.