An artistic garden in the heart of SC

08/13/2014 12:00 AM

08/12/2014 11:44 PM

One of South Carolina’s strangest, and most wonderful, tourist attractions is tucked into a dead-end residential road near Bishopville little more than a stone’s throw from I-20.

It’s Pearl Fryar’s yard. The topiary artist transforms plants and trees into whimsical designs that make people smile. Interspersed in the Dr. Seuss-like topiary are non-plant sculptures that make people think.

If you happen to hit a day when Fryar is there and has the time to show you around, even better. Walk up and shake his huge hand. Ask him a question and let that booming voice transport you into his fun, hopeful world.

Plants are his palette. He doesn’t just cut them into twirling ribbons and staircasing boxes. He coaxes them into growing all of their limbs pointing directly east and west, or in sweeping swirls.

From Columbia, take I-20 east to exit 116. Head toward Bishopville, and turn left on Broad Acres Road less than a mile from the interstate. His house is at 145 Broad Acres Road. There’s no charge to walk through and view the garden, though donations are accepted.

Also: Check out his topiaries in front of the S.C. State Museum. A second one was added earlier this year as the museum finished its expansion.

Joey Holleman

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