A Garden that Inspires

On Wednesday, my sister, Brenda, and I took off in her yellow convertible Mustang. You might think we were heading to a mall but there are no malls here on Manitoulin Island, where we both have summer homes.

The entrance to Pepper Point Gardens

We grabbed our cameras and drove to a part of the Island I’d never seen before. Off the highway and down a long lane flanked by tall grasses and cat tails, we found Pepper Point Gardens. 

John Narozanski, owner of the gardens, welcomed us. “We bought the property 30 years ago,” he said. “But, the gardens are only 9 years old.” The property, bounded on three sides by water, had caught their fancy when they’d been young. Both gardeners by trade, now retired, they’ve devoted themselves to transforming this wild, unruly lot into a botanical dream. 

John’s wife Jean, the official tour guide, walked toward us on one of several cobbled walkways. We spent the next 45

Jean Narozanski - we take a break in the gazebo

minutes being surprised at every turn by ponds, water features, gazebos and dry stone walls. Mammoth hostas of many varieties give the gardens a tropical appearance. Roses and flowering vines cling to trellises. Gigantic hydrangeas form a backdrop for purple cone flowers, phlox, gloriosa daisies and many other varieties of perennials. This creative duo adds charm by using discarded stair railings, posts, benches and other reclaimed treasures throughout their garden. Sculptures of stone and wrought iron, some of them gifts to the gardeners, add a whimsical touch. 

Near the end of the tour, we stepped onto a sandy beach. “The winter winds whip through here,” Jean said. When the garden goes to sleep for the winter they put up barriers to protect the gardens and the house.

A glimpse of the garden

The Porch

The house, that’s another subject. “It was small when we bought it,” they said. “We’ve just kept adding.” The house doesn’t have that added-onto look. It has settled comfortably into the garden, a large, appealing home with red shutters and flower-strewn verandas –  its appearance is as welcoming as its owners, Jean and John.

 The Naronzanskis inspired Brenda and I, not to replicate Pepper Point, but to use whatever creative skills we have, to bless God and others.


About rosemccormickbrandon

An award winning personal experience writer, Rose McCormick Brandon is a frequent contributor to faith magazines, devotionals and compilations, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Rose is the author of Promises of Home: Stories of Canada's British Home Children (2014). One Good Word Makes all the Difference (2013), He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me (2012) and Vanished: What Happened to My Son. She's a frequent contributor to The Testimony, Today's Pentecostal Evangel and other faith magazines in Canada, U.S. and Australia. Rose also writes about Canadian history, specifically the era of Child Immigration from Britain. Read her stories of child immigrants at: http://littleimmigrants.wordpress.com
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5 Responses to A Garden that Inspires

  1. Anne Laidlaw says:

    Thanks for sharing your pot of gold on Manitoulin. It makes me want to immediately drive down and look around.

  2. I am passing this to my friend who also summers on Manitoulin…vivid writings! Brenda Wood

    • Where on the Island is your friend? My ancestors on both sides of the family were Island pioneers (one side from Ireland, the other from Scotland). I feel reconnected with my roots when I’m there.

  3. Darlene Wilson says:

    I’ve always felt that the alphabet was very boring, however, when you put words together as you did describing this garden, it came alive. I close my eyes and I can see myself walking through this colourful display of flowers and feeling the breeze of the water as we near it. And always a good lesson at the end; a remider of how valuable we are to God and that He has a plan for each one of us and a purpose too.

    • The alphabet is boring? That’s so funny. It’s true, we need reminders of how God values each of us. We sometimes get lost in the bigness of the world and feel insignificant. Jesus bore our sins and died for us – that sacrifice robs us of insignificance.

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