If you're ever traveling down I-20 through South Carolina, do yourself a favor and don't resist - make a stop in Bishopville at Pearl Fryar's topiary garden. There's not a lot to see along that stretch of highway, and it will add delight to your trip. It won't cost you a thing, unless you choose to make a donation. If you're lucky, Pearl himself will be there to welcome you and show you around his yard of marvelous topiaries and whimsical sculptures.
The topiaries were amazing. It's hard to capture them on film though if you visit Pearl's website, you'll see some great pictures. Amongst the artfully trimmed shrubs and trees were "junk sculptures" also made by Pearl. In one section spelled out in red begonias were the words, "Peace, love, and good will." And those are the things Pearl spreads with his passion for trimming bushes.
Pearl uses donations to his garden to grant scholarships to "C" students who will be attending junior or community colleges. He wants to inspire students who may not have academic strengths to pursue their creative dreams. You can read more about his scholarship program here.
Pearl's art and passion blew me away. We at SpiritWorks Foundation want to make a difference in the life of a child. Pearl is already doing that and by doing something he loves. To think, that we might have missed out on seeing his extraordinary garden and learning about his beautiful vision. I'm so grateful we didn't. Meeting Pearl was a blessing and an inspiration. I hope our paths will cross again.