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Green Animals Topiary Gardens, Portsmouth

(140+ reviews on the web)
Garden Specialty Museum
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.HistoryThe 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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  • Live on the Island all my life and have visited almost all of the Mansions, this was my second visit to the grounds of Green Animals and my first tour of the house. My young grandson was with us and h...  more »
  • We visited the gardens in late May on our way to the Breakers. We enjoyed strolling through lush gardens of flowers, vegetables and whimsical topiaries of green animals (bears, giraffe, red rooster, e...  more »
  • We went to see the Green Animals topiary gardens as part of our 5 house mansions ticket. It is a bit of a drive out of Newport, but worth it. You also enjoy a tour of the house, which has lots of inte...  more »
  • One of the less known Newport mansions - I think this place is great! Beautiful to walk around. Pack a lunch and spend the afternoon on their beautiful grounds.
  • Nice little topiary garden in Portsmouth, RI. It looked beautiful in May when we visited it. Exhibit of old toys and other artifacts in the house is very nice too. You can visit it for free if you are a member of Newport Mansions Preservation Society.
  • Beautiful scenery Unfortunately was closed due to season, however, we were able to walk in the area and enjoy scenery, we will come later when it opens
  • As a photographer, this place was heaven. Many types of flowers, plants and interesting colors. I also was able to get some great shots of some of the hummingbirds, butterflies and frogs which make their home throughout the garden. The topiaries weren't that impressive but the garden was great.
  • Not worth spending much time at this time... the Topiaries were not too good.. The animals were not having much leaves.... Better choose a different place out of the 5 options you get with the any of the 5 options.