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.
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.
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."
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.