Monday, June 27, 2011


The current exhibition at Gallery O features some of our miniature land gardens as well as an extraordinary topiary artists’ work. The landscape theme is partly inspired by a garden tour we were a part of here in Boulder called the “Eccentric Artist’s Gardens Tour” featuring fifteen artist’s gardens and an art exhibition of works inspired by the gardens on the tour. The actual tour was on June 12th and we had perhaps six or eight hundred people come through our little back yard paradise, studio and gallery show. Great fun and a lot of appreciative smiles during the perfect mid June Sunday.

The yard featured a new landscaping arrangement that we dove into as soon as the weather permitted back in March installing new planting areas, new fencing and sculptural trellises, a new piazza seating area. Wind vane fishes blew in the winds as well as a 35’ high wind sculpture array in the front yard that was originally planned for a year run in front of the Boulder Public Library but got cut short (literally!) by a high wind burst on Memorial Day. Oh, well… it looks better in our front yard anyway. 

For more photos of the garden go to the Flikr Slide show



There is a new addition in the greenhouse in front of Gallery O. We made a miniature conservatory that is inspired by the classic Victorian greenhouses and solariums of the nineteenth century. The garden features miniature plants, trees and shrubs with a stone walkway, solar garden lights and overhead lighting for nighttime viewing. It was something that we've both wanted to make for quite a while and the tour spurred us on to complete it. 

In Gallery O is a new exhibition titled “Land Escape”. The miniature constructions are like small islands plucked from the earth featuring an array of terra-themes. They float on the walls across the small gallery at eye level.

"Tracks" - George Peters

“Tracks” - A winter scene with one bare snow limbed tree, a boulder, a fresh snowfall and a line of tracks through the snow. Overhead a black bird in flight follows the tracks.

"Shed" - George Peters

  “Shed” – An old rusty sheet metal shed surrounded piles of metal pipes, sheet metal. A plume of smoke rises from the smoke stack. Nearby is a pile of burned trash with a singular wooden stump of a tree and one hopeful bit of green branch emerging from the stark ground.

"Eden Rising" - George Peters

“Eden Rising” – A carefully attended to topiary garden visited by a large snake. Overhead a globe of one bush rises into the air.

"Desert Fire" - George Peters

“Desert Fire” – This desert house has caught fire. It’s history has spontaneously combusted. The stone walkway to the house crumbles into the abyss. A coyote watches the flames and smoke from a distance.

"Turtle Island" - Melanie Walker

 “Turtle Island” – A volcanic island of black soil on a parched landscape. A large turtle wanders looking for a meal.

"Beetle Forest" - Melanie Walker

“Beetle Forest” – The forest of pines is dying. The branches turn a copper color. Among the trees a large beetle wanders.

"Garden" - Melanie Walker

“Garden” – Wind swept trees and grasses neighbor with a small well tended garden.

Pearl's Topiary Garden

The Topiary Garden of Pearl Fryar is a small exhibit in the Greenhouse of Gallery O and features a group of photos taken by us during our recent trip to Jacksonville, Florida in March. We had seen the documentary film about this amazing man last year and made the trip up to Bishopville, South Carolina to see the gardens and try to meet Pearl himself. The film is titled “A Man Named Pearl” and if you haven’t seen this film, you must put it on your list. It is a documentary not only about extraordinary topiary but, more importantly, about this courageous and amazing man.

Pearl Fryar became a gardener fairly late in life. He knew very little about gardening or art for that matter. A son of a sharecropper family living in Bishopsville, South Carolina he took up a job at the local Coca Cola bottling company and managed to save his earnings there to buy a modest ranch style home with three acres of corn field. The neighborhood that he chose his property from was all white and they made it known to Pearl that his black family would not be welcomed to the neighborhood. This set Pearl in motion to prove his place on their street. He made a vow to himself to vie for the Bishopsville Garden of the Month award.

Scouring the local nursery’s compost pile he rescued plants, nursed them back to health and planted them around his home. He started shaping and carving the plants he rescued into topiary forms gaining a reputation in the small town as both an eccentric gardener and a generous and wise man. He eventually caught the attention of the local garden club and soon a sign appeared in his front yard stating that he had won the garden award.

People in his neighborhood changed their minds about Pearl. In fact, they invited him over to their yards to do topiary trimming on their property greenery. Soon the entire street has become an extension of his mastery with topiary. The city council and chamber of commerce recognized this local treasure of a man and soon the main street of Bishopville as well as many local businesses featured the extraordinary horticultural sculptures of Pearl.

He started giving talks and tours of his garden.  Pearl’s garden has become a living testament to one man’s firm belief in the results of positive thinking, hard work, and perseverance, and his dedication to spreading a message of “love, peace, and goodwill.” Articles have appeared in countless periodicals about Pearl’s garden. He has been featured in the New York Times, appeared in numerous talk shows gaining enough notoriety to attract national attention for his garden through the film documentary entitled “A Man Named Pearl”. The film played in film festivals throughout the world to accolades and brought many awards. His garden is now under the wing of the National Garden Conservancy as a world treasure.

From his humble beginnings he has turned his strong beliefs into a garden of inspiration and hope.

Here are a few images from Pearl's amazing garden...

To view more of Pearl Fryar's Topiary garden go to the Gallery O Flikr slide show.
Visit the Pearl Fryar Topiary website.for more information.