The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A Man Named Pearl

Meet topiary artist Pearl Fryar

This DVD is an enchanting documentary that focuses on an extraordinary African-American man and the community that has been brought to life by his artistry and positive attitude.

Randall Andrews<BR><BR>You’ll see the
You’ll see the topiary art of Pearl Fryar in the DVD that tells of the impact this man and his garden have made on his South Carolina town.
Directors Scott Galloway and Brent Pierson capture this artist’s pleasure in creativity and his willingness to pass on what he has learned to future generations.

Raised the son of a sharecropper, Pearl Fryar discovered that he had a natural gift for topiary art, trimming and shaping trees and bushes into unusual shapes.

Working in his spare time and using plants from the scrap pile of a local nursery, he created an exquisitely beautiful garden, becoming the first African-American man to win the “Yard of the Month” award in Bishopville, S.C.

Now his 3-acre garden receives approximately 5,000 visitors a year who can depend upon their friendly host to share stories and explanations of his work.

His neighbors have been so impressed with what he has done that many of them have created topiary works in their yards. The mayor talks about how the garden has put their town on the map again.

The minister at the New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church reveals his most popular parishioner’s solid Christian faith and his spiritual impact on everyone he meets. We are reminded of this aspect of Fryar’s character when we read the words etched into the garden’s lawn: Love, Peace and Goodwill.

Every once in a while, a film comes along that takes you by surprise as you can feel the wonder and delight sweeping through you. A Man Named Pearl is one of those movies.

We rejoiced in its messages: There is nothing so worthless or junky that it cannot be used to create something of beauty. Put love into what you do and people will respond with gratitude and joy. In our gardens, we can draw close to nature and nourish our souls (New Video Group; not rated).


Pat Arvin

Pat Arvin

Posted at 3:05 pm (U.S. Eastern) 3/24/2009

Saw the show the other night about Pearl. What an inspiration he is. What a a spirit he has. His work is beautiful. Enjoyed hearing how he and his wife met and how they are doing. With all the depressing news on TV this show was so wonderful to watch and made you feel great. I hope to someday come visit his home and get a chance to see his work and Pearl himself.

Thanks again for letting us see Pearl and his hard work and letting us feel that good things do happen.

Sincerely Pat

Lynnease Armstrong

Lynnease Armstrong

Posted at 8:40 pm (U.S. Eastern) 5/10/2009

Where in Bishopville,  is this garden as we would like to visit....



Lynnease Armstrong   BoyScout Leader


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