We first learned about Pearl Fryar and his astonishing topiary gardens after watching the documentary “A Man Named Pearl” that aired on HGTV last spring. To give a quick overview of the documentary, Pearl lives in one of the poorest counties in South Carolina and worked at a factory for most of his life. In the mid 80’s, he saw that the local garden club gave out “Yard of the Month” awards and so he started his own garden with the goal of winning the award. He rescued throw-away plants from the dump pile at the local nursery and over years of time, trained them to be topiary bushes and trees. He has never had any formal training in botany and is basically a tree-whisperer/topiary master in spite of that. He obsessively works on his garden day and night and has made it into one of the most spectacular topiary gardens in the country. (And he did end up winning the “Yard of the Month” award many times over!) We were so impressed by everything we saw in the documentary that we decided to add The Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden in Bishopville, South Carolina to our Charleston vacation itinerary.
I can proudly say it was a great decision! We went to Bishopville and stopped by the Waffle House to take pictures of the topiaries Pearl made there and then headed over to his 3 acre yard of topiary glory! We also were fortunate enough to actually meet Pearl and get one of his 2010 Calendars. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met! We loved him!
This is Pearl posing with us.
Here is a photo of the Waffle House with topiary.
Here is Matt under an archway.
And me in a plant alley.