Friday, March 11, 2011

Newport's Green Animals Topiary Garden

Newport's Green Animals, like many of the Newport Mansions, is operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Here, the emphasis is not on a larger-than-life dwelling overflowing with elaborate furnishings and art, but on the living creations that dwell in the historic and expansive gardens. Alice Brayton named her father's estate "Green Animals," a fitting name considering that 21 of the 80 topiary trees in the gardens are sculpted in the likeness of animals as diverse as an elephant, a unicorn, a teddy bear and a Rhode Island Red rooster.

Thomas Brayton, Treasurer of the Union Cotton Manufacturing Company in Fall River, Massachusetts, purchased the estate in 1872, and soon after, he commissioned an accomplished gardener from Portugal, Joseph Carreiro, to fashion imaginative animals and geometric figures to fill the gardens. The topiaries are shaped from California privet, yew and English boxwood trees. Carreiro was the superintendent of the property until his death in 1945, and he was succeeded by his son-in-law, George Mendonca, who continued to add to the collection of topiary treasures until his retirement in 1985. Green Animals is one of America's oldest topiary gardens, and it remains one of the most notable gardens of its type in the country.

Green Animals Topiary Garden
380 Cory's Lane
Portsmouth, RI 02871

The Perfect Place for a Photo shoot with your Party Animals!

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