Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Let's visit a garden in South Carolina for this "G" day of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
My theme is America the Beautiful.

The word "garden" is inadequate when it comes to describing what I am about to show you. 
Let's try some other words.  Masterpiece.  Unbelievable.  Inspiring.

Pearl Fryar is a 75 year old man living in Bishopville, South Carolina.  My husband and I met Mr. Fryar in late March, outside his home.  He was sitting on his tractor, and was happy to talk.

This is his home.

Mr. Fryar told us that he had come to Bishopville from the borough of Queens, in New York City, when his job transferred him to this area around 1976.  He and his wife, both African-Americans, purchased a lot - really, a cornfield- in an all white neighborhood, in order to build a house.  To say that his new neighbors were not happy with people of color moving in might be an understatement.

They said African Americans couldn't keep up their yards. Mr. Fryar decided to prove them wrong - with love.  He took a three minute course in topiary and the rest has become, as they say, history.

Welcome to the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden, also known as Pearl Fryar's backyard.  Yes, his backyard.

When you view these plants, keep in mind that this man is self taught, and many of these plants are throwaway plants, or donations. (Now, Pearl has helpers, and donations are always welcome. Admission is free).

The artwork is made from scrap metal.  Love is the topic of many of the art pieces.

These pictures don't begin to show the beauty of this garden.

Like all of his art work, Pearl Fryar seeks to inspire, and to spread love. On the left, this says "Hate hurts".  Another message is:  "You can be somebody."
Admission is free, but donations are accepted.  The gardens are open Tuesday through Saturday.

Now, people come from all over the world to meet Pearl Fryar, the gardener of love.  And those neighbors?  Well, many have turned their yards to topiary, too.

One plant.  One man.  This garden is full of lessons, if we allow it to teach us.


  1. All it takes is a little bit of determination, and one can show the world where their ideas are wrong. Good for Mr Fryar for not giving up!

  2. It's a beautiful garden for sure

  3. Oh, Alana, this is so wonderful. And you know what else is wonderful? Your blogging about this dear man's backyard garden. Without your blog, I never would have known about this treasure in your area. What a gift to the community! And all from a 3-minute course in topiary. I'm so impressed!

  4. Amazing! Next time we get to SC, we'll have to go to Bishopville to see his great topiaries.

  5. I remember Mr. Fryar from his appearance on A Gardener's Diary with Erica Glasener several years ago. He is a very interesting man and a fantastic gardener and sculptor.

  6. Very nice gardening! I'm glad he's able to keep up even in the initial face of opposition.

  7. Wow. Those are... Wow. It's when we react with hate towards hate that things spiral and get ugly. Great lesson here.

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity


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