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Haven't seen the movie, but I made the Pilgrimage to Pearl's

His yard is amazing, but as a lazy gardener imaging the maintenance required makes me shudder. But he obviously enjoys it!

Looks like a wonderful film, do you know where I can find it without watching Oprah?

Also, one technical note, on my computer, the video is sized incorrectly. The right column cuts the right side of the video off.


If there's no audio when you click on the trailer, it's also available here:

Pearl did a lecture for the Northwest Horticultural Society in Seattle and he was one of my favorite lectures. He was humble and sweet and really wondered why a packed room of plant geeks wanted to hear him talk about his garden. It made him all the more endearing. Even if topiary and the mass, constant trimming of plants isn't your thing, his story really is worth watching.

The film is AMAZING!

You can get A Man Named Pearl from Netflix. It's even on instant download.

Don't expect a how-to on topiary. It's more about his journey and life lessons. It's a feel-good documentary.

More at

This story reminds me of something Chris Grampp said. He's a landscape architect who teaches at Merritt College in Oakland. When he was a landscape design student at Berkeley, he noticed houses with "poodled" shrubs, white gravel, etc. (the kind of yards that plantaholics tend to...ummm... dislike). So for one of his projects, he went around and talked to the people. What he learned was that they were proud of their yards and said they were doing it -- the neatly trimmed junipers or the raked white gravel -- for the neighborhood, to beautify the area. It totally changed his perception of those front-yard gardens. (Also, he later wrote a book called From Yard to Garden: The domestication of America's home grounds.)

I'm looking forward to watching this! Thanks, tropaeolum, for mentioning it's on Netflix. :)

Pearl's presence has even made an impact around his very rural community. As I exited the Interstate at Bishopville recently I was struck by the topiary shrubs around a convenience store and an amazing Crape Myrtle trained into a huge woven basket at a fast food place.

Lovely film. Lovely garden. Lovelier man. My daughter and I included Pearl's yard on one of our road trips. It is definitely worth the trip!

Great story.

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