Edward Scissorhands (played by Johnny Depp) creating topiaries
Photo credit: Twentieth Century Fox
“William the lion” in winter at Topiary Fancies in
Connecticut with mane and tail
made of Carex “Evergold,” Nanette Burrows, photographer
Chickens at Newington in Pennsylvania, created using
wire frames and ivy, Diane Viall, photographer
Giraffe at Green Animals in Rhode Island,
Some of the oldest animal topiaries in the United States can be found at Green Animals in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. These exquisite pieces created from California privet were sculpted by Jose N. Carreiro, the original gardener of the estate who “liked to clip” and was given creative freedom. On the seven-acre estate he created 80 pieces of topiary, a mix of geometric shapes and animals including an ostrich, a giraffe, a camel, and even a unicorn. When the estate was passed on to Alice Brayton from her father, she gave it the fitting name of ‘Green Animals’ in honor of all of Carreiro’s creations. Now cared for by The Preservation Society of Newport County, all of Green Animals’ beloved occupants are still painstakingly maintained.
Eleanor the Elephant at Bentley Garden in Arizona,
Nancy Swanson, photographer
View more topiary animals, shapes, and designs in the Collections Search Center.
The images above are from the Garden Club of America Collection at the Archives of American Gardens.
Kayla Burns, Intern