Jim Donahue & Eugene Platt, Topiary Gardeners, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
In 1905, the Thomas Brayton family hired Joseph Carreiro to create gardens on their estate overlooking Narragansett Bay. He clipped the first green animals out of privet, yew, and boxwood, and tutored his young son-in-law, George Mendonca, who created his own legacy for more than half a century. Eugene Platt now carries on under the eye of horticulturist Jim Donahue, who has brought faded gardens back to life under the guardianship of the Preservation Society of Newport County. “You have to look at a shrub and see what it speaks to you,” Eugene says. Visitors will see Jim and Eugene in the gardens, and now and then George, now in his 90s, comes around to see how his animals are doing.
Green Animals Topiary Garden, 380 Cory’s Lane. 401-847-1000.