When we first saw “A Man Named Pearl” on HGTV a couple of years ago, we knew if we got anywhere near Bishopville, SC, we had to visit.
Pearl Fryar is 77 years old, and has been creating topiaries since he built his house and started his gardening adventure in a corn field in the early 1980’s. He allows self-guided tours of his garden year round on Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visitors come from all over the Country as well as many from England.
He pulled into the driveway as we were walking around. He immediately put the tailgate down, took a seat, and started chatting with us. It was a real thrill to hear about how he created all these beautiful garden sculptures and about the lectures he gives all over the world.
When Pearl created his first topiary, he used shears, then transitioned to an electric trimmer, and now uses a gas powered trimmer. During the growing season, he trims them every 4-6 weeks.
You can turn in any direction on his property and see an amazing piece of live sculpture that just makes you smile with amazement. There is one area that is devoted to three words – love, peace, goodwill. It is a positively humbling sight but a mere camera can’t capture it because of size. The garden handout includes a nice photo.
He also intersperses pieces of metal garden art and water features that he makes himself from salvaged metal pieces.
Pearl has one son who has no interest in topiary so he is working with other organizations that could potentially keep his garden going and open to the public.
In Pearl’s lecture to any audience, he suggests that the secret to being successful is three things: working hard, being passionate about what you do, and having a good marketing plan. Although Pearl has a four-year degree, he said his advice causes an interesting reaction at places of higher learning like Harvard because it doesn’t include anything about being educated or having a degree. I think he likes grabbing their attention.
As you start your week, take 2 minutes and 4 seconds to watch the trailer for “A Man Named Pearl.” Your week will be better if you do, and I guarantee you’ll have a smile on your face when it ends.
If you get near Bishopville, a visit to Pearl’s garden is definitely worth a detour because it will be good for your heart and your soul. Sometimes in life, you are lucky enough to meet someone or see something that truly affects you – Pearl Fryer and his garden is one of those times.
Just for the sake of research and posting, we stopped. The grits and the pecan waffle were very good. 🙂