It truly is his name - it's Pearl Fryar and he lives in Bishopville, South Carolina. I went to see him in May 2007 because he is truly an artist. Oh, not of paintings with a brush and a canvas, but with a chainsaw and topiaries.
I traveled with the Orange Show on my annual Eyeopener Tours to see outsider artists' creations. Although most of our traveling was in the state of North Carolina, we dipped down into South Carolina especially to meet Mr. Pearl.
He lives on a residential street but as we turned onto that street we knew something special was about to happen. You see, every single house on that block had their shrubs in some animal or geometric form. Very different and unique.
We pulled up in front of Mr. Pearl's house and it was a sight to behold. Topiaries for as far as you could see. Acres of waterfalls, fountains, whirly gigs but mostly trimmed plants. Mere words cannot do it justice.
It all started in 1984 when he wanted to win Garden of the Month in his neighborhood. So he went to a local nursery and bought anything that didn't cost more then a dollar or two and started nursing it back to life. The rest is history. He has created an oasis and a thing of beauty.
A soft spoken man, his house is modest but you certainly cannot say that about his masterpieces.
This Sunday night on HGTV, at 8PM/7Central which would be 6 in Central Mexico, there will be a special program called "A Man Named Pearl". I urge you not to miss it.
Any donations Mr. Pearl receives from visitors doesn't go to buy more plants, it goes to pay for education for kids that can't afford it - mostly college education. It's his way of giving back!
I'm thrilled that a man of such kindness and talent is being highlighted on television.