Green Animals Topiary Gardens, Portsmouth

4.3
The Green Animals Topiary Garden, located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, is the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States. The 7acre estate overlooks the Narragansett Bay. It contains a large collection of topiaries including eighty sculptured trees. Favorites include teddy bears, a camel, a giraffe, an ostrich, an elephant and two bears made from sculptured California privet, yew, and English boxwood. There are also pineapples, a unicorn, a reindeer, a dog and spot a horse with his rider. There are over 35 formal flowerbeds, geometric pathways, rose arbor, grape arbor, fruit trees, and vegetable and herb gardens. A greenhouse is used extensively to provide seedlings used on the estate. The 1859 Victorian Brayton house museum contains a small display of vintage kids toy and the original family furnishings. Ribbons for prize-winning dahlias and vegetables, dating from about 1915, line the walls of the gift shop. The Preservation Society of Newport County maintains it.
The small country estate in Portsmouth was purchased in 1872 by Thomas E. Brayton (1844–1939), He was the treasurer of the Union Cotton Manufacturing Company in nearby Fall River, Massachusetts and he was looking for a country summer retreat. It consisted of 7acre of land, a white clapboard summer residence, farm outbuildings, a pasture and a vegetable garden. The main Victorian home looked out on Narragansett Bay.
It was Gardener Joseph Carreiro, superintendent of the property from 1905 to 1945 who slowly transformed it into a museum of living sculpture. Carreiro was recruited to design and maintain ornamental and edible gardens as part of a self-sufficient estate. Besides planting fruit trees, perennial beds, herb and vegetable gardens, Carreiro experimented with some fast-growing shrubs to unique forms. The first topiaries were started in the estate's greenhouse in 1912 and later moved.
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Green Animals Topiary Gardens Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
212 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We took this tour as part of our Newport Preservation Society Membership ticket. $45 and we entered all 10 of their properties including the Mansions and this wonderful Topiary Garden. In addition to ...  more »
  • I had wanted to visit the Garden. So glad we did. We purchased the 5 ticket option to the mansions, which does not expire. So worth it for$38. Interesting landscape. Beautiful flowers. Along the Bay. ...  more »
  • We spent several hours here. After enjoying a picnic lunch on the grounds, we toured the gardens and the house. Both a nine-year-old boy and his five-year-old sister thoroughly enjoyed our time there!  more »
Google
  • This is one of my favorite places to see when I visit Rhode Island. The gardens are meticulously maintained, the variety of plants and flowers is incredible, and the most magnificent Copper Beech I’ve ever seen is on the property. While I haven’t toured the house on site, the gardens are where it’s at for me. Highly recommend!
  • Green Animals is the place to be! Perfect day too. Try to time your day to tour the main house. Tours are 3x daily. Wonderful topiaries, lovely succulent plants, tomatoes, quaint gift shop. Walk along the water and enjoy the sprawling grounds. Perfect day for all ages.
  • This place is pretty cool and is part of the Newport Preservation Society Mansions. However keep in mind, this is nowhere near Bellevue Ave and the rest of the Newport Mansions and is about 30 minutes outside Newport on a long winding desolate road in Portsmouth. The house that sits on the property is not the main focal point of this tour since its pretty much an ordinary large farmhouse. The grounds it sits on are massive and overlook an bay inlet on top of a hill. The gardens in this place are unreal and contain not only topiary shaped figures but there are tons of plants, flowers and even a vegetable and fruit garden. The place is manicured to perfection and well taken care of. This is a decent place out of any of the mansions to take kids, however be prepared for the hike out of town to visit this place, about 15-20 miles away from downtown Newport.
  • The tour of the house takes about 15 minutes and the garden takes about 20 minutes. The ticket office sells water and cold drinks. Interesting to see the giraffe, bear and other animals as topiary. Well worth visiting.
  • Though probably not to the fault of the workers (they've had some bad weather), you can tell this place used to be a lot more majestic than it currently is. There are some neat topiaries, but also a good amount you have to imagine because of the damage. The staff are all extremely friendly, and we had a good time walking through the grounds. Good place to spend about half an hour.
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