Pedagogy of the Plants

Pearl Fryar’s Topiary

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Last month I drove to Bishopville, a small rural town in Central South Carolina.  It’s home to a kind soul named Pearl Fryar.  Around three thirty, he was speaking to a group of middle-aged tourists. Unbeknownst to Pearl, his website states that the gardens close at four on Saturdays, but after the group left, our conversation lengthened with afternoon shadows.

After working more than thirty years in a can factory while sculpting trees and shrubs each night, Fryar has managed to transform pockets of the depressed town into fantastical worlds of living sculpture.  Pearl’s self-taught craft began with discarded “junk plants” from a local nursery.

“How did I impress her (Martha Stewart), cutting bushes.”

“You should be nice to everybody.”

“We have a system in this country.  The system is set up for failure.”

“If you want to enjoy life, keep it simple.”

 “If you got an idea, and can’t afford it, start it.”

Pearl Fryar’s latest endeavor is metal sculpture, which he calls “junk art.”

Hardly junk.

Fryar Topiary Gardens
145 Broad Acres Rd
Bishopville, SC 29010-2819

http://www.fryarstopiaries.com

Click here to read more about the visit.

Written by Cameron Brooks

May 14, 2010 at 11:43 pm

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