Abkhazi Garden, Oak Bay

Abkhazi Garden is in the seaside community of Oak Bay, one of thirteen communities that form the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This spectacular rock garden was acquired by The Land Conservancy of British Columbia in the year two thousand. The property and garden were initially landscaped by the Marjorie Abkhazi, who was born in Shanghi, China, and her husband, Prince Nicholas, a Georgian noble, in nineteen forty-six. The TLC website describes their history and the landscape development of the garden. The rocky garden shows glacial striations in its granodiorite bedrock of Wrangellia Terrane. The garden is landscaped into distinctive garden rooms that include a rhododendron woodland, the south lawn, a Yangtze River, supported by three ponds, the summerhouse, the east path and the house terrace. There are many notable plantings in this garden such as the Spanish fir tree (Abius pinsapo), wood anemone, winter aconite and fawn lilies. The original family home hosts a Tea House with unique pastries and artwork. There is admission cost to enter this garden. Gonzales Hill Regional Park, Gonzales Beach Park, and Margaret Jenkins Elementary School Green Space, in Victoria, are nearby. The Branch Coffee Shop and Demitasse Café and Garden Center are also nearby.

Geographic Location N48º 24’ 56”  W123º 19’ 33”

Abkhazi Garden can be reached from the Trans-Canada Highway. Continue along the Hwy 1 into Victoria as it becomes Douglas Street. Turn off Douglas onto Hillside Avenue to head east. Stay on Hillside Avenue as it becomes Lansdowne Road. Continue along Lansdowne Road to reach Foul Bay Road. Turn right onto Foul Bay Road and continue along Foul Bay Road to Fairfield Road. Turn left onto Fairfield Road and look for the garden is on the left at 1964. It is nestled between the residential homes.  There is limited street parking in this residential neighborhood.  City buses travel close to this park.

Monteith Riparian Garden


Monteith Riparian Garden is an Oak Bay Community Garden located in the seaside community of Oak Bay, one of thirteen areas of the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. This small green space borders along both riparian banks of Bowker Creek. The allotment gardens are private green spaces for local residents to produce various foods for themselves. There a small narrow woodchip covered pathway between the plots and a lovely place to rest and watch the waters in Bowker Creek in a slight less channelized section of the urban creek. There are tall London Plane trees shade the gardens. There are many different species of shrubs including blackberries, snow berries and ocean spray that cover the grounds outside the garden plots. Fireman’s Park is across the road and Willows Beach is nearby.

Geographic Location N48º 25’ 48”  W123º 18’ 35”

Monteith Riparian Garden can be reached from the Trans-Canada Highway. Continue along the Hwy 1 into Victoria as it becomes Douglas Street. Turn off Douglas onto Hillside Avenue to head east. Stay on Hillside Avenue as it becomes Lansdowne Road. Continue along Lansdowne Road to reach Foul Bay Road. Turn left off of Foul Bay Road onto Cadboro Bay Road then take the first right turn after the high school onto Canmore Street. Continue along Canmore to reach Monteith Street and turn right onto Monteith Street.  The gardens are on the left where there is limited street parking. City buses travel along Cadboro Bay Road.

Cedar Cadboro Green Space

A green space to photograph is at the junction of Cadboro Bay Road and Cedar Hill Cross Road. The large welcome to Oak Bay sign surrounded by flowers and greenery could make a lovely picture. The well-manicured lawn and plants are shaded by the large Garry oak trees in the small green space. This green space is close to Henderson Park, Uplands Golf  Course, the dog walking area of the University of Victoria and Mystic Vale Park.

Geographical location N48° 27′ 14″ W123° 18′ 10″

You can get to Cedar  Cadboro Green Space from McKenzie Avenue. Follow McKenzie Avenue past the University of Victoria. The street changes names and becomes Sinclair Road. Continue down the hill to the junction with Cadboro Bay Road. Turn right onto Cadboro Bay Road and follow along up the hill. This green space is at the junction with Cedar Hill Cross Road. Continue a few meters along Cadboro Bay Road to use the roadside parking along the Uplands Golf Course. City buses provide service along Cadboro Bay Road.

Lakewood Elementary School Green Space

Lakewood Elementary School GS 7Lakewood Elementary School GS 4

Lakewood Elementary School is part the Sooke School District (number sixty two). The green space includes the large school yard with two large sports fields and several playground areas. The two hectare green space is in the Florence Lake neighborhood of Langford, B.C. The south playground is on a wood chip base with a curved slide with step ladder access and a separate climbing bar set. A few meters up the slope are six swings that are on a wood chip base. Further along the south side of the school grounds is a climbable rope web with an arc shaped. The east playground has two slides connected to climbing, swinging and sliding apparatus that are on raised platforms. The base is composed of wood chips. There are a couple of areas of the asphalt that are lined for basketball as well as hopscotch games. Fifty concrete steps, in four sets of seven and then pairs of two and three, lead up to the grass covered sports field that is surrounded by achain linked fence. The western side of the fence is lined with colorful hand painted wood cut in the shape of fish; this ‘stream of dreams’ was developed to increase awareness that all fish live in water and all that streams of water are where fish live. The closest waterway is Gardner Creek, a seasonal creek, which flows through Setchfield Park and Lake Ida Ann Park toward Mill Stream also known as Millstream Creek. An extensive garden bed lines the sport field along Setchfield Avenue. This green space is available outside of school hours and is a great site for a  parkour workouts. This is a great place to explore in your backyard. Camli Green Space, Lake Ida Ann Park, Ashley Green Space, Jamie Green Space, Setchfield Park, Shaw Park and Ironwood Park are nearby.

Geographic location N48° 27’56” W123°30’26”

Lakewood Elementary School Green Space can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway also called Hwy1. Turn at Millstream Road and continue to the log house pub to turn left onto Treanor Avenue. Look for the fire lane that connects to small parking area, at the back of the school, between houses 753 and 749. The main entrance and parking for the school is along Setchfield Avenue which is reached by continuing along Treanor Avenue and turning left onto Setchfield Avenue. There is road side parking along Setchfield Avenue. Buses travel along Treanor Ave and Setchfield Avenue.

Craigflower Manor Gardens

Craigflower house fence

The gardens at the Craigflower Manor, a provincial and national heritage site, were cleared for agricultural uses in the late eight hundreds. The homestead is located along the picturesque shore of Portage Inlet near Craigflower Bridge. The gardens lie on the east side grand house that was built for the Mckenzie Family. Kenneth McKenzie was the Hudson’s Bay Company bailiff and homesteader for the original three hundred and sixty hectare farm that extended east and south from the manor. Cartographical illustrations show that the route for Craigflower Road led though the property. The two story house with bilateral symmetrical windows and doorways, a style considered Georgian, was completed in eighteen fifty six. This one hectare property has rose beds, pine trees and a grove of larch trees (Larix occidentalis). There are also several raised garden beds used for the community grown vegetables. Portage Inlet borders the property to the north and east. Craigflower Bridge marks the junction of the inlet with the Gorge waterway that connects to Victoria Harbour. Information signs on the property explain the historical uses of this area that spanned green space. Shoreline Community Middle School Green Space, Shoreline Drive Green Space, Craigflower Road Green Space, Portage Park, Glentana Road Green Space and the Gorge Park, in Saanich where the Craigflower Schoolhouse resides, are nearby.

Geographical location N48° 27’ 7” W123° 25’ 27”

Craigflower Manor Gardens can be reached from the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1). Exit onto Admirals Road and turn south. Continue across the Craigflower Bridge to the first driveway after the bridge. This leads into the small parking area and just before Craigflower Road. City buses travel along both Admirals Road and Craigflower Road. Additional parking can be found near the shopping complex to the south.

The heritage site is open seasonally with living history interpreters providing information about the lands.

Victoria General Hospital Green Spaces

Victoria General Hospital labrynthVictoria General Hospital Garry oak knoll

The green spaces around Victoria General Hospital include a couple of garden and forested areas for the enjoyment of the staff, residents and visitors of the hospital. These outdoor areas offer a variety of walks in your backyard. A rough seventy meter footpath from the junction of Helmcken Road and Watkiss Way leads to the staff parking area. This sloped area is covered by grasses, blackberries and small shrubs although a willow tree and a few Garry oak trees can be found. Rabbits can often be seen hopping along the small creek, called Hospital Creek, seen below the helicopter landing platform and emergency entrance roadway from Watkiss Way. This grassland area has several shrubs and trees along the riparian area of the creek. A small landscaped garden and labyrinth are located near the parking area near the hospital’s north tower and west of the helicopter landing site. There are several benches in this sanctuary with views to the forest. Walking this classical labyrinth increases well-being by creating relaxation. Nestled right between the north and west towers of the hospital is a rocky knoll capped with several Garry oak trees. A concrete sidewalk, with several sets of stairs, traces the exterior of the building which partially enclose this rocky knoll. The pathway is about a hundred and twenty meters in length. A forested area, near the Hospital Way parking area is in Saanich. This forest is proposed as Watkiss Way Park and is described in the Saanich section of Walks in your Backyard. A rough trail runs through the Douglas fir and Garry oak forest in this proposed parkland and offers a wonderful respite from a visit to the hospital. The main entrance for the hospital, off Hospital Way, has landscaped garden beds with rhododendrons and a few low maintenance shrubs. Further along Hospital Way is the garden associated with the residential multiplex of the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, known as Janeece Place. There is a perimeter walkway made of bricks that is lined with flower beds, small water feature and several benches. The building is on the southeastern edge of the property for the hospital. There is a fenced garden area, off the staff parking area, with play structures, a barbeque, trellis and shaded areas for families whom temporarily reside here. This area has limited access. Stoneridge Wetland Park, Game Road Park, Aldersmith Park, Eagle Ridge Elementary School Green Space, Conrad Street Green Space, Knockan Hill Park, Tawny Park and Welland Legacy Park are nearby as is Chancellor Park and Eagle Pacific Park.


Geographic location N48° 28 2” W123° 26’ 1”


You can get to Victoria General from the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy1). Exit using Helmcken Road (Exit#8) and then turn left onto Watkiss Way. The first left is to the emergency entrance and staff parking area while the main entrance can be accessed from Hospital Way, the next left off Watkiss Way. The parking area is monitored and requires payment. City buses travel to the hospital using Watkiss and Hospital Way.

Welland Legacy Park

Welland Legacy Park oregon grape

Two hundred and thirty-five fruit trees with over one hundred and forty varieties of heritage apples are found at the orchard that forms the Welland Legacy Park. There are kiwi, quince, cherry, paw paw, hazel nut, medlar, grape, pear, plum, and fig trees growing on the two thirds of a hectare parkland. The land was donated to the Town of View Royal by the late Rex Welland, an apple and bee elder as well as a former member of the fruit growers on Vancouver Island. There are Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) plants as well. About half of the property is protected under a covenant with The Land Conservancy of British Columbia. The park borders the Galloping Goose Trail and has a great view of Portage Inlet. There are Douglas fir, Chilean pine (monkey puzzle) and eucalyptus trees as well as other unique species of plants on the property. Lifecycle Project Society hosts workshops for plant maintenance and education. There is a sixty-five meter long paved path, bordered by black chain link fence, along the homestead from Burnside Road W to the park. A composting toilet is in the lower section of the park near the gate from the Galloping Goose Trail. There are also several bee hives on the property and a couple of sheds. Several trees including many apple trees and the Chilean pine tree are separated from the parkland by a black chain-link fence. Tawny Park, Knockan Hill Park, the Galloping Goose Trail and Chancellor Park are nearby.

Geographic location N48° 27’ 55” W123° 25’ 16”

Welland Legacy Park can be reached from Hwy1. Turn off on Exit 8, Helmcken Road, and head northward toward the Victoria General Hospital. Continue on Helmcken Road to Burnside Road West. Turn right onto Burnside Road. Take the second right onto Eaton Avenue and left onto Stancil Lane. The park is at 1215 Stancil Lane or the end of the road. There is limited roadside parking on either Stancil Lane or Burnside Road W. City buses travel along Burnside Road and the park can be accessed from the gated chain-linked fenced paved pathway between 1247 and 1245.