To say Pearl Fryar has a green thumb would be quite the understatement.
The octogenarian has spent decades transforming his 3-acre yard in Bishopville, South Carolina, into a paradise of incredible topiary art. And to think when he first bought his home, the previous owners were hesitant because they didn’t believe he would maintain the lawn!
As Pearl demonstrated in the following years, this stereotype against Black people couldn’t be further from the truth.
Wanting to prove his detractors wrong, the talented gardener set out to win the yard of the month award from a local garden club in 1981. Despite having no prior horticultural experience, he brought home plants that had been thrown out by a nearby nursery — and nurtured and trimmed them into gorgeous topiaries!
By 1990, his garden had become a popular tourist destination with over 300 plants and sculptures, many of which he’d tended after working 12-hour shifts at a factory.
Delighted by the wonderful response to his hard work, Pearl opened his labor of love to the public, calling it the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden.
These days, about 10,000 people stop by to marvel at Pearl’s creations each year. Not to mention, his garden has been featured in multiple publications and even has its own documentary!
But to Pearl, the garden itself isn’t what’s most important — it’s the impact it makes! His goal is to inspire others to use their natural abilities to achieve success. He also hopes visitors will leave his garden with “love, peace, and goodwill.”
In the 2006 documentary “A Man Named Pearl,” he explained, “It wasn’t important to me to create a garden. I wanted to create a feeling, so that when you walk through here, you feel different than when you came.”
What a beautiful legacy for Pearl to create! The fruits of his passion are sure to touch thousands more in the years to come!
See more of his masterpiece in the video below, and share this story so your friends can appreciate it with you.
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