Dorothy and Shauna had a beautiful and relaxing walk through Abkhazi Garden in Victoria in July. The garden is full of interesting trees, shrubs and flowers, and it meanders through rocky terrain around a tearoom.
Some of the remarkable trees they saw include a very old oak, Japanese maples and some junipers growing directly out of the rock. There are also stands of gunnera (not brunnera, as Dorothy says in the video), 10 feet tall with huge leaves. Ferns of various types abound in all the shade, including masses of maidenhair fern, with its black stems amid fresh green leaves.
Shauna notes the method of trimming the trees to give the trunks bare limbs at the bottom is made use of in this garden. The effect of the pruning gives structural interest and a Japanese feel to these trees. It also allows visitors to notice variations in colour, texture, shape and pattern.
The Abkhazi garden has a wide, sunny central area where flowers are grown, surrounding a couple of connected ponds. It could be the glade of a secluded woodland somewhere except that you can hear the occasional siren or other sounds from the city just outside the confines of the space.
One thing of note is the rhododendrons throughout the garden. Most weren’t in bloom when Dorothy and Shauna were there, but you can imagine seeing the sight at its height of bloom, with oranges, reds and fuchsias of rhodos offsetting the tender pinks and whites of cherry blossoms and magnolias.
The garden is open to the public from 11 to 5 every day between April 1 and September 30 and it is free, though they suggest you make a donation. (It is also misspelled by Shauna during the video; make sure you add an “h”.)