Friday, 6 January 2017

Pearl Fryar

A new year is here. So why not start it off right by visiting a new garden? I did just that yesterday. I had the opportunity to visit The Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden in Bishopville, South Carolina. He and his garden had been on my radar for some time now, but it had never really been convenient until I was "in the neighborhood" yesterday. 

                      How about that for an entrance?                    
Honestly I didn't fully know what to expect since I had only ever seen pictures, which rarely provide a proper context. So when I pulled into Bishopville, the first thing I noticed was topiary trained on a couple of road signs, indicating I was getting close! Then I saw a sign for his garden at the corner of a neighborhood road. As I pulled down this small residential street, I noticed some of the neighboring houses had nice topiary pieces, which made me smile.  Then I saw it, a rather ordinary house surrounded by unordinary topiary specimens- it was quite the sight. 

The Car Park

The mailperson must smile everyday!

Across the street from his home was a vacant grass lot where visitors could park. Then there's a little welcome stand where you can get a brochure and leave a donation. It all seemed so relaxed and simple, and welcoming. As I started walking around, I could feel a sense of pride in the air, an artist's work wanting and deserving to be seen. 

Lovely pink Camelia

Lichen-covered bark of Hollywood Juniper

Pearl has also introduced different bits of garden art throughout the landscape, creating a heightened whimsical feel and some comedy relief. There's no shortage of fun here.

Love it: rather 'Alice in Wonderland'-esque 

Pearl's influence in the neighborhood...

...and his work at the local Waffle House

Pearl's story is one that you can't help but applaud and appreciate. His passion and knowledge are evident and despite a circuitous route to horticulture, he has proven that where there's a will, there's a way. Like some of us, he started his garden by rescuing throw-away plants from the dump or compost heap. Over the last twenty plus years he has created a topiary masterpiece with little training or prior experience.  The following quote from his website sums it up:

I didn’t have any limitations because I really didn’t know anything about horticulture. I just figured I could do whatever I wanted to with any plant I had.” Pearl Fryar

I was inspired not only by his story, but also by his work, and I highly recommend you visit his garden if you haven't already.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this Ben. This is a garden I have always wanted to see in person. Hopefully one day....