Visitors have come from all over the world to the small town of Bishopville, South Carolina to see Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden. Since 1981, when Pearl acquired his first yard, he has been working tirelessly to cover it in whimsical topiaries. After hearing of the racial stereotype that African Americans ‘"don’t keep up their yards," Fryar became determined to be the first African American in the town of Bishopville to win the coveted “Yard of the Month Award" from the local Gardener’s Club.
Pearl began by rescuing discarded plants from the compost pile of local nurseries. Having no horticultural or gardening background, Pearl taught himself, and with patience, care, and skilled hands, watched as his plants grew and thrived. Despite advice from local gardeners, Pearl does not use pesticides or fertilizers and rarely waters. He has watched as plants not even meant to grow in a South Carolina climate flourish under his care.
As his first plants grew, Fryar began using an electric handsaw to transform them into remarkable abstract shapes. Over time he transformed his three-acre property into a surreal wonderland of over 300 topiaries, which he tends to daily. His topiaries are complemented by his homemade “junk-art” placed around the garden.
This Obscura Day, Mr. Fryar will be at his garden from 10am–4pm to welcome visitors and share the inspiration behind his work.
While this is a free event, donations are encouraged!
Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.
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