“It’s a well-known fact that we Southerners embrace the eccentric, the idiosyncratic, and celebrate, or at least tolerate, unusual forms of public self-expression. We possess a passion for individualism in its many manifestations and most of us can tell you a story about a neighborhood ‘character’ whose eccentric actions or obsessive qualities gave our community a bit of local color, a unique sense of place.”
Pearl Fryar: A Cut Above (excerpted from a book proposal by Polly Lafitte)
When you’ve run through your list of must-see movies this fall, we highly recommend an inspirational documentary about Pearl Fryar and his extraordinary topiary garden, aptly titled A Man Named Pearl. Since 1984 Fryar has been turning unassuming scrubs like boxwood and compacted holly into works of art. While he started with a couple of bushes by his front door on the outskirts of Bishopville, SC (he set out to win the “Yard of the Month” from the city’s garden club), Fryar was soon asked to create topiaries in his neighbors’ yards, too. As word of this man’s message of peace, love and goodwill spread, the cul-de-sac Fryar lived on was expanded so that tour buses carrying visitors could turn around. His garden, “a fantastical world of trimmed and twisted trees, a sort of Dr. Seuss meets Edward Scissorhands” put Bishopville on the map and captured the imagination of the world.
We don’t know when, or if, we will ever make it down to Pearl Fryar’s Garden but we do know that this charming movie has inspired us to reach for our creative potential!
For more information on Pearl Fryar, please visit his website www.pearlfryar.com.