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A Man Named Pearl

Updated on July 10, 2010

There is “A Man Named Pearl”. That’s the name of the movie about this man named Pearl who is a non-assuming, 70-year-old, soft-spoken black man who sculpts topiaries on his land of three acres.

Pearl Fryar lives in the small town of Bishopville, South Carolina.

Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden

His backyard is a topiary art gallery.

"He can tame trees like nobody's business," says a local fan. And he's right! Pearl Fryar's gigantic and abstract sculptures are treasures on any king’s lawn!

Folks from all the world over visit Pearl Fryar's topiary garden.

Originally Pearl was unsuccessful at house-hunting. He was told that he was unwelcome because, "Black people don't keep up their yards." Today his neighbors feel a bit obligated to maintain their lawns and many are inspired to create their own topiaries.

The street where he lives looks like Edward Scissorhands got carried away.

Fryar was thought to be a bit “off” at first. He retrieved plants out of a nursery's trash pile and turned “trash”  "elegantly abstract" art.

Pearl Fryar had no formal training in topiary art.

Pearl goes against traditional standard horticulture wisdom for plants. He doesn’t use sprays or fertilizers to protect plants. He doesn’t have a watering system, opting instead to dig trenches around the plants that collect rainwater. “Think of the forest. Everything grows and the forest never waters, sprays, or fertilizes. It has a natural organic recycling process and it works for me.”

Pearl has extensive awards such as exhibiting his work in the permanent collection of the South CarolinaStateMuseum, in Columbia, SC. He was named nationally for his exceptional garden by the Preservation Project of the Garden Conservancy.

Pearl, however, has a new mission: “developing programs that help the C-minus student who doesn’t test well and has low self-esteem. My program will help them discover what they are good at and what they can achieve through hard work.”

Pearl lectures extensively in public schools, colleges, and church groups

At the local Waffle House there is some topiary by the artist named Pearl. Pearl eats for free. There’s a “Pearl breakfast” on the menu.

Pearl has worked hard until retirement. And then- he keeps right on working!

He is Mr. Topiary Extraordinaire!

Pearl Fryar is king with a fitting regal garden!

Pearl preaches the gospel of love, peace, and goodwill from his home and his garden.

Pearl's Garden and Bishopville, SC are "almost" at the intersection of I-20 and I-95.

A Man Named Pearl


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    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Good to see you as always Petra! God bless!

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      What a great man and what a superb work of art! Just beautiful and I love the fact that he respects nature enough to follow its rules and do not use commercial products to alter it. Great hub Micky, a real treat

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      You bet pmccray! Wouldn't it be nice to drop in on Mr. Pearl one day?

    • pmccray profile image


      8 years ago from Utah

      This yard is amazing. What beautiful zen and an air of peacefulness surrounds the property. I bet work to maintain the lawn is what keeps this man vibrant. Excellent hub my friend.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Oh Dim! You know by now I'm a has-been that-never-was! Thank you Dear!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      There you go mquee! I haven't been to Pearl's place yet but I hope I get to see it soon!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      8 years ago from Great Britain

      That was awesome.! Never seen anything quite like it.

      Well done Micky for bringing this to our attention. What a lovely man he must be. ( a bit like you, I guess!)

    • mquee profile image


      8 years ago from Columbia, SC

      I feel embarrassed because I didn't know about this man who is just a few miles down the road. Thank you for the enlightenment. Another unique hub. Thanks again, my friend.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Yo JJQ! I'd be scared to death.

      Finally there are some nice bushes! It's right off the I-95. I'm about an hour or so! Git on over!

    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 

      8 years ago from United States

      Finally some bushes in this country that I can get into, I will have to check this out on my travels. It looks like quite a sight to see, and what an artist this pearl is. Thanks for a superb article.~~~MFB III

    • profile image

      JJ ( Pachuca) 

      8 years ago

      This one was absolutely awesome. What great talent he has, I cannot even trim my hedge correctly in my front yard! What a creative person. Thanks for sharing.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Billy- there would not be bike rides if I had to do it!

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      8 years ago

      Amazing stuff - can you imagine maintaining a garden like this?

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Hi Maita. That Pearl is amazing!

    • alexandriaruthk profile image


      8 years ago from US

      Amazingly beautiful Mick, Awersome hub and awesome man Pearl is and you too

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Hi Kimberly- I think Pearl is the equivalent of two men!

      Sa`ge- it's screwed up the way you're made to pay for stations you don't use. I don't want the mess of bad TV to fumble around with. TV and channel surfing is a waste of time. I have a lot of movies and TV DVDs that I watch. I often wait for the sales.

      Oh- Good morning Sa'ge!

      KKalmes- you gave me a laugh! Thanks!

      Thank you Always Exploring! He's a beautiful man!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      What a beautiful man, i wish i lived close, i would go to his church.

      Another great hub!!!

      God,s speed

    • KKalmes profile image


      8 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Hello Micky,

      I was just transported to the Garden of Eden and the gatekeeper appointed by God is Mr. Pearl Fryar.

      Thank you for giving me the respite of beauty this day!

    • Sa`ge profile image


      8 years ago from Barefoot Island

      I don't have real TV either, i watch documentaiies on netflix now cut of my tv last month was not watching it much so decided to cut of the cable. out here you need cable to watch reg tv. they make you pay for everything now days. it is a shame! your day is comein gto a close mine is just starting LOL :D stay sweet :D ~aloha nui~

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I want a pearl too!

      No seriously

      I mean two!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Howdy Sa`ge! I don't get real TV but I ran into him on the net a couple years ago. I've not been but he's less than hours from me I guess. I love you Sa'ge! Aloha

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Yes BkCreative! If you're headed toward Florida Pearl isn't far off I-95. He's a treasure!

    • Sa`ge profile image


      8 years ago from Barefoot Island

      morning ops afternoon Micky; the first time i saw his work on a special about him, I wanted to go there in person so feel not just see Pearl's Garden. One person can change a whole community, Pearl proved it! :D He not only proved it could be done by one person, he proved you don't have to have a lot of money to cause change to happen. Amen and Blessing to Pearl! Thanks Micky. you have the gift to share! love you! ~aloha~

    • BkCreative profile image


      8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hello there Micky Dee! I've had the pleasure of watching the documentary - and then I watched it again and again. His grounds provide such a sense of peace. I'm so impressed when his response to all those who say what he did was impossible - he calmly replies by telling folks - he didn't know it was impossible!

      He is a true artist who uses trees and shrubs as his medium.

      This is on my list of must see places.

      Thanks for this wonderful tribute to a creative genius - and with great photos. I'll bookmark it to share.

      Rated up and more!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Saddlerider! The Pearl is the pearl! He is amazing!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Nellieanna- he's a person we love to love isn't he? I want to be like Pearl when I grow up!

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      8 years ago

      This man is a blessing to his state and country. People like Pearl make a difference, such a beautiful caring man. Thanks for the share Micky, it was uplifting in every sense of the word.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      Such an uplifting hub and work done by Pearl! Thanks, Micky!!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Hi Valerie. If we try, quite often that's enough.

      Hey Darlene. I appreciate you my Dear! You're always first class!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      OH Micky Dee, I watched this guy on a John Deer commercial, it just fascinated me. What a man, and what a heart, if we had more people in the world that we could clone to be Pearl, what a perfect world we would live in. What a heartwarming and inspiring true story, I love this guy and we all love you! Bravo, great hub And I rate up and all the above

    • valeriebelew profile image


      8 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      very interesting story, Micky Dee. I find that those who ignore what the experts teach, generally start the new trends. (:v

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Thank you Freya! He is indeed amazing!

      Cheers Tantrum!

      God bless Coolmon!

    • Coolmon2009 profile image


      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      Beautiful garden thanks for bringing this to my attention. If i am in that area of the U.S. I will have to check this out.

    • tantrum profile image


      8 years ago from Tropic of Capricorn

      Those gardens are incredible !amazing story !Cheers !

    • Freya Cesare profile image

      Freya Cesare 

      8 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

      I am agree with Putz Ballard. This is indeed amazing. His garden look like coming out from the book of tale!

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for stopping.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      8 years ago

      Wow amazing!! Thanks for sharing


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