This small country estate in Portsmouth was purchased in 1872 by Thomas E. Brayton (1844-1939), 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.
Watch a video about Green Animals Topiary 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.
Green Animals is the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States. Mr. Brayton's daughter Alice gave the estate its name because of the profusion of "green animals." She made the estate her permanent residence in 1939. Upon her death in 1972, at the age of 94, Miss Brayton left Green Animals to The Preservation Society of Newport County. 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.
Please note: The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms and Rosecliff are partially wheelchair accessible. For detailed information about access for visitors with special needs, please call (401) 847-1000.
Please note: Green Animals is open seasonally. Please click here to view the full Newport Mansions Operating Schedule.
Only certified service animals are permitted on any of the Preservation Society properties. No other pets are permitted in the houses or on the grounds. This will be strictly enforced during the COVID-19 recovery period. We also request that pets not be left in your vehicle while you take your tour, as temperatures inside a locked car will quickly become unsafe and even deadly.