garden inspiration: “miss rumphius” and “a man named pearl”



Have you seen “A Man Named Pearl” yet? It’s a documentary about an untrained horticulturist who creates a yard with topiaries that defy convention. Again and again as I watched it, I was reminded
of a story I read to my kids: “Miss Rumphius” by Barbara Cooney. In the book, a young Miss Rumphius tells her grandfather she wants to travel the world and live by the sea. He responds that she must do a third thing — make the world more beautiful. In the documentary (without giving too much away), Pearl Fryar starts out merely wanting to dispel the neighbors’ notion that he won’t keep up his yard. Along the way, he manages to make a garden — and a community — more beautiful. Find “A Man Named Pearl” on Netflix or buy it at Docurama. — Sarah L.

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“Miss Rumphius,” (and “Roxaboxen”) two fabulous Barbara Cooney classic childrens books.

I loved the documentary about Pearl and his completely creative and relentless drive to create living art. I think he is an American Idol!


Both Miss Rumphius and Roxaboxen were family faves.


Do watch A Man Named Pearl! My (now) husband and I watched it when we traveled east to plan our wedding. It is now a very special memory from that crazy hectic week of wedding planning!