July 6th – July 12th
There are things that stick out in your memory that are as clear as day however, sometimes these memories are only personified by the pictures from that day. Point in case, my childhood memory of going to Green Animals. I had a childhood friend, Christopher Lloyd, who’s father was in the Navy and as with most all Navy families around these parts their tenure on this island was short lived. Days before his family was to leave town his mom and my mom took us on the train from Newport to Green Animals in Portsmouth. Now I’d like to say that I remembered how the gardens looked then or what the rest of the day entailed but I can’t recall much more from that day aside from the picture one of our parents took of us on the train that day. I guess what I’m saying is that photos have more to offer than conveying a feeling or situation. In many cases they are all we have to remember our days by and now I almost have a years worth of these memories!
At first Green Animals was the summer residence of Thomas E. Brayton who was the treasure of the Union Cotton Manufacturing Company in Fall River, MA. It would make perfect sense that he would have chosen this parcel of land for the company that he oversaw surly used the rail lines that crossed the foot of this property on the western shore of our island (remember my first post!?). In 1905 Mr. Brayton hired Joseph Carreiro as the superintendent gardener and Carreiro is the one responsible for creating the gardens we now call Green Animals. This picture was taken in the Formal Garden area which boasts topiaries dating back to 1910…yes, that’s right, for one hundred years these plants have been groomed and maintained. So our friend Elephant Ears here has been standing watch over this estate for one hundred years now…job well done old man, job well done.