Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mr. Pearl's Wisdom....From The Bottom Up

I love being able to make my dreams a reality.  One of the drams I had was to just touch the hands of Mr. Pearl Fryar...so I made it happen.   Who is Mr. Pearl Fryar and why would this be so important to me?  Allow me to share.

While visiting my daughter in New York, she spoke of my love of gardening to an artist friend of hers.  I was asked if I had seen the video about Mr. Pearl Fryar and his topiary garden.  This caught my attention and I wrote it down to make certain that I followed up on this Mr. Fryar and his garden.  I bought the video and my Dad and I watched it together.  I was amazed, enchanted and knew at that point I was going to have to meet this Mr. Pearl Fryar.

I had the opportunity to go down to Bishopville, South Carolina and seize a few moments with this man whose hand I felt I had to touch.  The hands of a creative gardener, like myself, who had mastered the art of topiary, like Mr. Harvey Ladew - only in my lifetime - with no prior experience.  Mr. Fryar was an educated man, but a simple gardener who won Yard of the Month by the local garden club in 1985.  Who knew that it would urge him on to create the masterpieces that are in his yard today.  In 2006 the video "A Man Called Pearl" was produced and from there friends (organized forming Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden, Inc.), interested people and even the Garden Conservancy are pitching in and helping keep Mr. Fryar's vision alive.  As his schedule allows, Mr. Fryar greets visitors from all around this country and even some from around the world.  Imagine all from a Garden of The Month Awardee!!!

I had to ask Mr. Fryar if he had words to share with me.  He shared that at one time he was punished because he wanted to do interesting things with plants as a child.  It was as if he was denied the opportunity to tap into his inner creative self. Fast forward to when he was in his forties....he built his house, planted shrubs and trees of all kinds and treated them in a way that even today perplexes horticulturalists.  Mr.Fryar believes that if we teach kids from the bottom up, they will release a lot of creativity that is missed as we continue to teach from the top down.  Training to learn from a book, we are then book taught with no real experience...just following the leader, so to speak.  From the bottom up, we learn as a seed learns from a mere seed in the ground to a seedling to a plant.  This message makes simple sense to me.

Here are some examples of Mr. Fryar's hands on work....

One of Mr. Pearl Fryar's proudest accomplishment's is how he could create a topiary from a Live Oak.  As he says, this has stymied the experts.  He just might share how this can be done as he writes his book.  I personally cannot wait to read it.  Even after meeting and touching this true man of the earth, I am even more so amazed and impressed by his talent.

At this time, Mr. Pearl Fryar has a part time helper who he is training in the art of Topiary, five days a week, a few hours a day.  While this is appreciated help, it will take a team of creative artisans to maintain the work that one man started over forty years ago.  Age and time has a way of stealing some of the greatest talent and lesser known secrets on this earth.  It would be a shame to not go see this Artisan, Gardener and Knowledgeable Man of the Earth...to touch his hand, hear words of his wisdom and allow the sense of peace to touch your heart and soul.

Take a moment to visit Mr. Pearl Fryar, watch the video or contribute:

Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden
PO Box 1111
Bishopville, SC  29010

Trust me, you will be glad you did.....I am!!

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