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Green Animals Topiary Gardens, Portsmouth

Categories: Gardens, Specialty Museums, Museums, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 130 reviews on the web
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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  • We stopped by at this garden on the way to Newport, RI. Very fascinating to see bushes trimmed to various animal shapes! 
  • Hubby and I had some time to spare and decided to give this a try. It was not exactly what we expected but it truly was a good time. We spent about 1.5 hours there, enjoying the topiary display and th...  read more »
  • About a half hour drive from Newport in a rural area, worth the drive. Due to the very hot and dry summer of 2016 many of the topiary animals were not lush and full, quite a few had some bald patchy s...  read more »
  • 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.
  • Lots to look at. Animal topiarys, flower covered pergolas, beautiful home, flower garden, dahlias, and vegetable gardens.
  • Wonder garden with very unique plant sculptures.
  • It is incredibly beautiful!
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