Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Roll Out the Green Carpet

A Man Named Pearl Documentary Opening Night with Garden Panel Discussion
May 23, 8:30 pm (film then continues for expected two-week run)
The Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC
A Man Named Pearl tells the inspiring story of self-taught topiary artist and gardener Pearl Fryar. It is a subtle and intriguing film that is certain to open hearts and minds. It offers an upbeat message that speaks to respect for both self and others, and shows what one person can achieve when he allows himself to share the full expression of his humanity.
The 8:30 pm showing time on opening night, Friday, May 23, will be followed immediately by a panel discussion moderated by Kathy Jentz, Editor/Publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine. Invited panelists include local garden bloggers, gardening experts, and professional gardeners. Audience members will be encouraged to participate and ask questions as well.
Fee: $10. Preregistration is not required.
For more information, call 202.966.6000 or visit http://www.theavalon.org/.

We have several pairs of passes to this special opening night event available. To enter our contest to win a pair of movie passes, send an email to washingtongardener@rcn.com by 5:00pm on May 22 with “Pearl” in the subject line. You must include your full name and the full name of your guest in the email body. (Only one entry per person please. Duplicates will be deleted.) We will select the winners at random from among all the entries and inform them on the morning of May 23.

I watched a preview copy of this movie myself and can attest that you will be inspired. I'm not a big proponent of topiary or bonsai other forms of torturing plants into man-made shapes, but I have to give Pearl a hand for his vision, dedication, and hard work. This is a man of action and quiet persistence. As Pearl says, "Gardening books will tell you that some of these things in my garden can’t be done, but I had never read them when I got started. Not knowing ahead of time that something is supposed to be impossible often makes it possible to achieve. I didn’t have any limitations because I really didn’t know anything about horticulture. I just figured I could do whatever I wanted with any plant I had." Lack of training certainly has not stopped him from being featured in Art in America, Garden Design, Fine Gardening, Charleston Magazine, and the New York Times. You may gave seen him interviewed on CBS's Sunday Morning, HGTV's Garden Diary, and PBS's Victory Garden. His work has been in museum exhibitions from Bishopville, SC, to Baltimore, MD, most notably at the American Visionary Art Museum, the South Carolina State Museum, and Spoleto Festival USA. I think you'll find this film and Pearl as enchanting as I have and urge you to see this small film with a large heart.

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