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Pearl Fryar is a self-taught topiary artist in Bishopville, SC. Born a sharecropper's son in North Carolina in 1939, society told Fryar he would never amount to anything. Today, he is an inspiration to us all as he shows us what can come of creativity mixed with drive, will, and determination.
Type of art you are involved in: Topiary
Location: South Carolina
1. How do you use Fiskars Orange-Handled scissors in your creations?
2. What is your best scissors advice?
Make sure they are clean. This is important when trimming topiary.
3. Describe your creative style in three words or less.
It’s different, unique. It redefines the meaning of Topiary.
4. What do you look for in your favorite tools?
I want tools to be comfortable to use.
5. What is your background and how did you get into topiary?
I am retired from Rexam, a packaging company. I approach things in a creative way. I did not know it was topiary when I started. I just decided to cut up bushes. I knew I had to come up with something different because I wanted to win yard of the month.
6. What is one of the most memorable projects you’ve worked on?
I worked with students at Coker College to create a topiary garden around a fountain as part of a class project.
7. What is your favorite Fiskars tool?
I use the hand shears most often to do detail pruning.
Biography: Pearl Fryar is a self-taught topiary artist in Bishopville, SC. Born a sharecropper's son in North Carolina in 1939, society told Fryar he would never amount to anything. Today, he is an inspiration to us all as he shows us what can come of creativity mixed with drive, will, and determination.
In the early 1980s, Pearl Fryar began developing his 2 acre yard outside Bishopville, SC, in an effort to win "Yard of the Month" from the local garden club. He soon developed a passion for topiary and began to grow living sculptures on his property. He won Yard of the Month in 1985 but kept working, honing his style and technique and expanding his garden.
The well-manicured, sculptural plant forms that comprise Fryar's living vision of love, peace and goodwill often began as salvaged "throw away plants" from a local nursery. Today, Fryar is widely recognized by art and botanical enthusiasts. Although sometimes described as a genius, Fryar remains humble, down to earth, and greets high praise with a doubtful shake of his head. Fryar continues to maintain his peaceful garden year round and welcomes visitors from all walks of life to visit.
The Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden Inc. and the Garden Conservancy are two non-profits working together to help care for and preserve Fryar's garden and to assist Fryar as he educates and inspires others to achieve their creative potential. The Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden, Inc. and the Garden Conservancy hope to raise funds to keep Pearl's garden open to the public for many years to come.