Nothing Ever Comes Out of Negative Thinking – Pearl’s Wisdom

Wishbone Tree by Pearl Fryar

“It wasn’t important to me to create a garden.  I wanted to create a feeling that when you walked through you felt differently than you did when you started.”  Pearl

When I need inspiration I watch A Man Named Pearl, a documentary about self-taught artist Pearl Fryar.  Pearl’s living art can be seen at the South Carolina State Museum or at his masterpiece, the backyard of his home in Bishopville, South Carolina.

Pearl could not move into the white neighborhood because the neighbors were afraid a black man would not take care of his yard.  Ironically it was his sharecropper father’s advice “You must find a way to rise above average” that spurred him to find his passion in gardening.

He moved far beyond planting petunias to growing plants the nursery threw away and turning them into forty-foot topiaries.   Pearl’s inspired pruning eventually got him the Garden of the Month award, but more importantly his hard work has inspired children, his neighbors, aspiring artists and gardeners – and me.

“He made me feel like there are no limits.  My age would not stand in my way.”

Pearl Fryar

This 72 year old man’s energy is regenerated by living his passion and working with nature.  The miracles he grows are simply a reflection of his belief to “make sure you use that creative ability in some way.”

And his positive energy has extended out to his community.  Pearl donated several of his trees to beautify the town.  His contribution has helped revitalize the local businesses as busloads of tourists weaving through country highways to catch a glimpse of Pearl’s garden stop to see his creations.

If you ever go to South Carolina, make the effort to see the garden of Love Peace and Goodwill.  “You can feel some kind of spirit within it,” explains one visitor in the film.  “He’s not just doing it for show.  It’s something within.”

Love Peace and Goodwill - Pearl Fryar's Garden


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