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“A wonderful day out!”

Green Animals Topiary Gardens
Ranked #2 of 13 things to do in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Green Animals is the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States.This small country estate in Portsmouth was purchased in 1872 by Thomas E. Brayton, Treasurer of the Union Cotton Manufacturing Company in Fall River, Massachusetts. It consisted of seven acres of land, a white clapboard summer residence, farm outbuildings, a pasture and a vegetable garden. Gardener Joseph Carreiro, superintendent of the property from 1905 to 1945, and his son-in-law, George Mendonca, superintendent until 1985, were responsible for creating the topiaries. There are more than 80 pieces of topiary throughout the gardens, including animals and birds, geometric figures and ornamental designs, sculpted from California privet, yew, and English boxwood. Today, Green Animals remains as a rare example of a self-sufficient estate combining formal topiaries, vegetable and herb gardens, orchards and a Victorian house overlooking Narragansett Bay.
Reviewed July 31, 2014

Simply colorful and spectacular! My 3 girls...ages 7, 5 and 22 months, a niece,11, and I had a picnic on the grounds and then walked around enjoying all the scenery of flowers and topiaries. They enjoyed walking around with the map and looking to identify what each topiary was.

The house on the ground had so much to take in too, they really enjoyed the history and displays of dolls, toys and much more. Ms. Alice Brayton's love for children was apparent everywhere. It was without a doubt a relaxing and pleasant place to visit.

2  Thank DennehyA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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105 - 109 of 170 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2014

The Preservation Society of Newport County is best known for its opulent ‘cottages’ such as Marble House, The Breakers, The Elms, and more. But about 30 minutes outside of Newport is a small country estate consisting of a charming white clapboard summer house on seven acres that is quite different. The house is roomy and quite comfortable, but the property is best known for its topiary garden, the oldest in the United States.

Created by Joseph Carreiro in 1905, the garden consists of about 80 ‘green animals’ topiaries. The figures include a giraffe, elephant, seated bear, birds, and other shapes and are absolutely delightful! You don’t need much time to tour the house and gardens, perhaps an hour or hour and a half, but you’ll be enchanted by this Victorian house overlooking Narragansett Bay and its orchards, gardens, and topiaries. Don’t miss it.

4  Thank redeco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2014

While this is owned by the Newport Mansions, the Green Animals Topiary Gardens is set off in its own area and not in Newport so just know that to begin with. But knowing that is important…you are in a land of your own…bring your camera for you will see beautiful topiaries and beautiful gardens throughout the grounds. The house itself should only take you about 10 minutes but spend a long time on the grounds--well worth it. And save time for either a picnic (bring your own snack) or a snooze--the environment allows for that under a few trees. There are a few Adirondack chairs or benches. But a lot of yard for you to just enjoy time on and savor the beauty. It is really a beautiful place to visit!!!

1  Thank Annct103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2014

Part of the Newport Mansions, the Green Animals Topiary Gardens was a lovely and inviting retreat. We could have easily brought a picnic lunch and spent a better part of a day there. The farmhouse is full of history and collections, and the gardens are colorful and whimsical, full of topiaries and perennial beds as well as a vegetable garden. I could have just sat on the wraparound porch and enjoyed the view for hours. You can purchase your admission as part of a mansions package or by itself. A really nice thing about the single admission is that for $10 more, you can get into any other mansion for up to a year after your purchase -- that is a terrific deal, and one we intend to take advantage of!

3  Thank ChrisandCarlos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

A trip to the Green Animals Topiary Gardens was well worth it. The gardens are beautiful, the animals shaped out of hedges are wonderful, leaving no doubt as to what animal they represent. The entire garden has been well thought out and executed. There is also the home of the Brayton family to visit while there and you can take a self guided tour through it. The rooms with the children's toys and doll houses were wonderful.

Thank Angela H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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