Friday, September 13, 2013

Green Animals Topiary Garden Rhode Island

Green Animals Topiary Garden
During a recent visit to Rhode Island I had the pleasure of visiting the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth.  This small country estate consisting of seven acres of land overlooks Narragansett Bay and was purchased by Thomas E. Brayton in 1872.  Mr. Brayton was the treasurer for the Union Cotton Manufacturing Company in Fall River, Massachusetts from 1879 to 1920.  He hired Joseph Carreiro who was responsible for creating and maintaining the topiary garden.  Carrero's son-in-law took over and continued to develop new topiary upon Mr. Carreiro's death in 1945. Upon Mr. Brayton's death in 1940 his daughter Alice inherited the estate and resided there until her death in 1972. Alice Brayton known for her love of horticulture named the estate after its unique sculptured green topiary.  Green Animals Topiary Garden was left to the Preservation Society of Newport County and remains today under their care as a historic landmark. 
There are more that 80 pieces of topiary throughout the gardens and one of my favorites were these two teddy bears made of yew (Taxus).  The topiary animals are made of California privet and yew while the geometric figures are from California privet and English boxwood.
Here is the mighty lion made of California privet and surrounded by annuals. The beds are planted with annuals that change with each growing season.
Gardener Joe Carreiro designed these driveway arches as an entry to the garden.
The garden houses two arbors, one draped with Magnolia x soulangeana and on this arbor with  Grape (Vitus vinifera).
 A beautiful perennial border garden shows the colors of late summer.  This area was re-designed and replanted in the fall of 2004.  
This beautiful Dahlia Display garden is a joint project between the Preservation Society of Newport County and the Rhode Island Dahlia Society.  Blooms from this garden are entered into the Dahlia Society's annual show in early September...
and you can see why. 
Here is the full garden to give you an idea of the size.

The framework of the garden is made of boxwood and privet hedge.

The topiaries were started in 1901 in a nursery then moved to their present location in 1912. 

Every year Green Animals hosts several events and is visited daily by tourists.  I truly enjoyed visiting these wonderful gardens along with the mansions of Rhode Island.  I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour as well.
As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2013. All rights reserved

1 comment:

  1. It really is a pretty garden. The topiary looks well maintained too. I would have liked this trip too. I lived in Rhode Island for two years and the mansions are really amazing to visit.


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