Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden
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A combination of classic South Carolina kitsch and sincere artistic achievement, Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden (145 Broad Acres Dr., www.fryarstopiaries.com, daily dawn–dusk, donations accepted) is one of the most unique stops in the state. Pearl—an elderly man, not a woman—began this labor of love in 1984, supposedly as an attempt to win “Yard of the Month.” Safe to say, mission accomplished.
Now having contributed his work to Spoleto in Charleston and the State Museum in Columbia, the amiable Pearl has become one of South Carolina’s most popular folk artists. His delicately carved living garden sculptures take up about three acres, using plants as diverse as boxwood, cherry laurel, and eight types of holly.
You can enjoy them alone, but it’s worth a call to see if Pearl can give you a personalized tour himself. It’s all free of charge, but leave a donation so that Pearl and his associated nonprofit, the Friends of Pearl, can keep the garden growing.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition