Category Archives: garden

Prescott Park Gardens (Portsmouth, NH)

Date Of Visit: July 29, 2017

Location: 105 Marcy St, Portsmouth, NH

Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: Street parking is available on Old Bay St and Marcy St.  There is also a lot on Old Bay St.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: fountains, flowers, plants, trees, family friendly

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Portsmouth is known for its beautiful places.  So, it’s no big surprise when you come across a scenic view or a pitcuresque downtown area.  What is more unusual is a beautiful garden in a public setting.  Well, Prescott Park Gardens certainly seems to fit the bill.

Considered part of Prescott Park, Prescott Park Gardens is located next to the main garden at Prescott Park.

Even though it is only  a small area, the garden at Prescott Park is overflowing with colors and beauty.  Despite all of the trees, flowers and fountains and the high volume of visitors, it didn’t seemed cramped there. Even with the dizzying array of flowers, the park still seems quaint and understated.  I can only imagine how peaceful it must feel there when it’s not a busy time of day.

 

Despite the huge crowds it attracts, the park is kept in pristine condition.

 

The fountains at the garden give the area a serene feel.  Just watching the water and listening to the calming, rhythmic sounds of the water splashing is soothing.

 

Some people found some creative ways to cool down at the garden.

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Below is a video of the garden at Prescott Park.

Today’s featured link is Don Gargano’s photography website.  Don primarily shoots in the Portsmouth and New Castle, New Hampshire areas as well as Maine.  I have followed him for some time on Facebook and you can check out his page here.  Coincidentally, he has a photo of the garden at Prescott Park on his profile page!


The Mount (Lenox,MA)

Date Of Visit: June 4, 2017

Location: 2 Plunkett St, Lenox,  MA (about 2 hours west of Boston and 1 hour northwest of Springfield, MA)

Hours: The Mount is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm through October 31st, except on early closing days (please see below). The Mount is open from 10:30 am – 3:00 pm most weekends in November through February. Please call 413-551-5100 to confirm hours.

Cost: $18 for adults, $17 for seniors (65 and older), $13 for students with id, $10 for members of the military, free for teens and children (18 and younger)

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Service pets may be allowed

Highlights: home of author Edith Wharton, trails, fountains, flowers

Website: The Mount

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Once the home to one of Massachusetts’ more prominent authors, The Mount is more than just a beautiful mansion.  The Mount, once the home of Edith Wharton, has colorful gardens, fountains, art, spectacular views and history around every corner.

The Mount, which was recently restored, is an elegant house that has kept much of its original charm.  What is great about the mansion is that you can see the entire home in half an hour or so.  Yet, it isn’t so much the quantity of time and space the tour (I took a self guided tour but there may also be guided tours as well) would take.  But, rather, it is the quality of time and space the tour takes.  Around each corner is one beautiful piece of furniture and architecture.  Yeah, I think I could live here.

I couldn’t use my flash when I took photos inside of the mansion.  But, I did my best.  Sometimes the lack of lighting gives the home a mysterious feel.  Sometimes it just makes the photos look crappy.  You decide.

The two floor building has about a dozen rooms and there is a handicapped accessible entry and elevator.

Some of my favorite rooms had the old, antiquated tools and appliances we used to use.

The grounds of the Mount is as beautiful as the inside of the building.

The Beaver Loop Trail, a gentle, short trail (about half a mile) that runs along the grounds of The Mount, offers some very pretty views.

Edith Wharton was fond of animals (well, mostly she was fond of dogs not so much cats – oh well she wasn’t purrfect I guess).  Along the trail around the mansion, a side trail leads too a pet cemetery.

There are also little critters along the trail outside of the home.

The Mount is also hosting a special art exhibit called SculptureNow on its trail.  If you missed it, you can view the blog post I posted a few weeks ago bout the art exhibit here.

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Green Animals Topiary Garden (Portsmouth, RI)

Date Visited: June 25, 2016

Location: 380 Corys Ln, Portsmouth, RI (about 15 minutes north of Newport, RI and 1 hour south of Boston, MA)  (401) 683-1267 

Hours: Open everyday  10-5 seasonally (May 21 – Oct. 10 this year but the dates may change each year)

Cost: $15.99 for adults, $6.99 for youth (ages 6-17).  There are discounts available if you provide an AARP card (I’m not quite that old yet) and if you have AAA and possibly if you’re in the military.  Take note that the Green Gardens is considered part of the Newport Mansions and their prices are based on how many houses you visit.  In this case, the price was based on a one house tour because there is only one mansion on the premises (the Brayton House)

Parking: Free parking for 24 vehicles

Dog Friendly: No (service dogs may be allowed)

Highlights: shrubs and bushes cut into shapes of animals and other shapes, pretty flowers and gardens, mansion (Brayton House)

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If you think the grass is always greener on the other side, you’ve never been to the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

Located adjacent to the Brayton house, the Green Animals display is the brainchild of gardener Joseph Carreiro.  Carreiro began the topiary in 1905 and the 80 pieces of topiary have been in place at the garden ever since.

The topiary may be the main  attraction.  But the flowers and plants are also very pretty.  In fact, as much as I loved the different shapes at the topiary, I found the flowers and the garden near the side of the topiary to be just as appealing.

The website states there are 80 different shapes sculpted into the greenery (although I don’t remember seeing that many).  I have included the most interesting of these 80.

The Damask Rose Garden is featured at the entrance of the topiary.

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The topiary has shapes of all kinds of animals. Like this giraffe.

DSC_0306DSC_0303with her/his baby giraffe (the black dot in this and some other photo is dirt on my sensor which I didn’t notice until after I got home unfortunately)

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And this duck.

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This is a growly bear (it is standing on its hind quarters)

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Not all of the shapes are made in the image of creatures that are presently with us.  This dinosaur was one of the scarier shapes in the garden.

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This colorful shape is of a yew rooster

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I don’t usually get this close to lions.

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This swan peaked her head out among the other green animals.

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This appears to be a bird

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It was a little warm for a polar bear

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Reindeers aren’t just in the North Pole.

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There are even human shapes cut into the greenery.  This human is riding a horse.

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This police officer helped direct traffic around the green garden.  I am not sure if he is affiliated with the Portsmouth department.

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There’s even a mythical unicorn

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This baby bear just wants a hug

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There are even inanimate objects cut into the greenery.  For instance, you can take a seat in this chair if you get tired (I am just kidding, you’re not allowed to climb and/or touch the greenery)

One of the few birds who actually sits still long enough for me to photograph him

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I looked like this elephant was going to charge!

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I don’t mean to boar you with this piece from the topiary.

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The handout I received did not have a description for this shape.  it appears to be a train.

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This mommy and baby bear were sitting outside the Brayton mansion.

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There is also a pet cemetery located at the topiary.  Four pets of the owners are buried there.  This section is very peaceful and decorative.  The cemetery has a bench for sitting and reflecting and gravestones with the names of the deceased friends.  It is very tranquil.

The flowers and garden are well kept and have some very vivid colors. I thought it was cute how they had “scarepeople” instead of scarecrows.  I also liked the different chairs and wind vane and other decor around the grounds.

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There is also a fish pond with goldfish in it.

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I also liked the Brayton House.  They do not allow flash photography in the house (although you can take photos with your cellphone).  I don’t like how photos look on my cellphone so I didn’t take any photos in the house but it is a must see on the tour.