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Visit historic Newport, RI and take in some breathtaking gardens in Newport and surrounding towns.
Green Animals, located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, is one of the Preservation Society of Newports historic properties to visit. You can buy a combo ticket and visit it along with other Newport mansions. Green Animals contains over 80 topiary sculptures, annual flower beds, perennials, and a vegetable garden. Lovely views of Narragansett Bay!!!
Besides the elaborate interiors many of the historic Newport mansions have interesting gardens to visit. My favorites are Hunter House and The Elms.
Hunter House, one of the oldest historic homes, has a restored 18th century garden featuring a cute herb garden, perennials and fruit trees. Plus views of Newport Harbor.
The Elms has extensive formal gardens including flower beds, speciman trees, roses, and garden scuptures.
Many of the other Newport mansions also feature gardens and trees although each property varies in how extensive the gardens are. If you are touring one of the other mansions be sure to check out the grounds on the property.
In spring and fall there are two walking tours offered of the gardens of Newport. The proceeds from these tours benefit the arts programs of Aquidneck Island's Public Schools.
The spring garden tour (usually held in June) focuses on the homes and gardens of the historic point section of Newport located near Hunter House. This section of Newport contains one of the highest concentrations of colonial homes in America. An added benefit is that this area is away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist or mansion areas of Newport. The homes are laid out in streets in a grid pattern and are close enough that you can walk between gardens following the map provided. The ticket is usually good for 2 days. Park at the Newport Visitor Center where you can buy your tickets for the tour. It is a short walk to the historic point section where you can begin your tour.
The fall garden tour (usually held in September) includes several private homes and gardens along Bellevue Ave. This is your chance to get a glimpse behind the high brick walls surrounding these private homes. For this tour you will need a car to travel between the gardens on the tour. You can purchase your tickets in advance or the day of the tour at the visitor center.
The Newport Flower show held every year at Rosecliff is an wonderful flower show to attend. I have gone several years to this show. It is a smaller show consisting of floral arrangements and displays in the rooms at Rosecliff, garden displays on the grounds, vendors and lectures. The gardening lectures are free and varied. The flower show has been recently held in June while in the past it has been held in July.
For a three week period in April, Blithewold mansion and gardens contains thousands of daffodils planted on the grounds. In addition to the daffodils see the spring flowering trees, perennials and tulips in the cutting garden. Be sure to visit the restored greenhouse on the property. You can also tour the mansion and have tea in the dining room on certain days and time. Just lovely!!!