But though it was beautiful and awe-inspiring,
I had a feeling of delight... even giddiness...
when we visited Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden in South Carolina.
I guess it is because he is more like the rest of us garden-loving, non-billionares.
He is a homeowner with a larger lot (I am guessing a couple of acres), who has created his own garden style, and worked at it tirelessly for many years. No team of gardeners or much outside encouragement, just funny looks from the neighbors (hmm... some of us can relate). And now he is able to enjoy what he has created, and others are opening their eyes to his gifts also.
I learned about Mr. Fryar's garden this past winter when I stumbled upon a documentary on Netflix of all places.
A Man Named Pearl introduced me to his story, which tells of humble beginnings (many of his shrubs were from the nursery dump pile) and a love for his art... and the racial tensions that existed when he bought his property.
This sign stands at the end of Mr. Fryar's neighborhood, pointing the way for his visiting public.
See if you can guess where the garden is in the middle of this average neighborhood?
|The front of the house with its circular driveway.|
|The left side...|
|The view that stopped my breath (for reasons other than the intense heat).|
As you come closer in front of the fountain, you have a better view of the smaller hedge surrounding it (below).
|Viewed from further left of the large bed in front of the fountain.|
I enjoyed watching my children (and my 6-foot husband!) have an Alice in Wonderland experience while walking amongst the enormous, old shrubbery. Many are as large or larger than those I have seen at Longwood Gardens in PA.
|View to the right of the house|
|Mr. Fryar does all of his sculptural pruning with powered hedge clippers, a ladder and a man lift.|
|The girls with his famous man lift.|
|The garden to the left of the house.|
|An arch in progress.|
|Looking back toward the house (from the left).|
|His signature topiary, not yet trimmed for summer (though its seems to be on the list since the clippers were laying underneath).|
|View of the right side of the house from the rear.|
What a wonderful stop! So glad that it worked out for us along our travels.
Hope you enjoyed seeing it too! If you are ever driving along east from Columbia on I-20, be sure to take exit 116 to Bishopville, SC. Pearl Fryar's garden is just one mile off of the exit in the direction of Bishopville.
An hour well spent!