Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Master of Topiary

I have always loved topiaries, and years ago I heard about Pearl Fryer. He is definitely the Master of Topiaries!

His story is humble and inspiring.

In 1976 Pearl and his wife Metra were in a new town of Bishopville, South Carolina after he just took on a new job at a can factory. They were looking for a home in an all white neighborhood when their Realtor was told by neighbors that they did not want a black family in their neighborhood.
One homeowner even stated "black people don't keep up their yards."

Pearl was deeply hurt by the racial stereotype, But rather than become angry and bitter he was motivated to prove them wrong.
Pearl and Metra bought a house in an all black neighborhood and he began a garden that would attract positive attention.
 His goal : to become the first African-American to win Bishopville's "Yard of the Month"

Realizing he would have to do something spectacular to impress the Bishopville garden club,

Pearl began cutting every bush and tree in his yard into unusual, abstract shapes,often in the dark using only the light from the street lamps. He didn’t know it then, but he was creating a magical wonderland that would, in time, not only local recognition, but attracting visitors from all over the United States and worldwide.

Reminds me of the modern Edward Scissor hands!

Be sure to visit his page and prepare to be.....


  1. This is SUCH an amazing story! I saw the documentary "A Man Named Pearl" when it ran on HGTV. It showed Pearl working on his yard and interviews with he and his wife, etc. It was really great. There are clips of the documentary on YouTube, Nexflixx carries this movie, and you can also order it from Amazon or Walmart. Thanks for sharing about Pearl.

  2. I read about this guy several years ago. Pretty dang amazing.

  3. Thanks for sharing...what a labor of love!

  4. I was just thinking about him yesterday. I watched the doc years ago and loved it. I do worry about him up on that tall ladder! Yikes!
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Well, Your story was equally beautiful and moving and congrats to you for surviving. I found them on a website while I was searching for something else.

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