The Green Animals Topiary Garden opened for the season last week. As part of the Preservation Society of Newport County, this mansion, located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, gives visitors the chance to visit the oldest and most northern Topiary Garden in the United States.
This seven acre estate was purchased in 1872 by Thomas E. Brayton as a summer home. His gardener, Joseph Carreiro, and son-in-law, George Mendonca, were responsible for creating the topiaries. The gardens, which include more than 80 pieces of topiary, almost completely outshine the house. The estate includes sculptured trees and shrubs in the shapes of various animals like camels and giraffes, flower beds, and fruit and vegetable gardens. The white wood frame house contains family furnishings and has become a small toy museum.
Brayton’s daughter, Alice, gave the estate it’s name, the Green Animals Topiary Garden, and became a permanent residence there in 1939. At the age of 94, Alice passed away and left her estate to the Preservation Society of Newport County and is still considered one of the finest Topiary Gardens in the United States.