1080x360 _2_.jfif

News from the Cactus Patch, February 2, 2022

Follow the fun on Instagram
Join us on Facebook
About Us

Happy Groundhog Day from your friends at Prickly Ed's Cactus Patch!

Falling midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, February 2nd is a significant day in several modern and ancient traditions. Tracing back to the oldest origins, the Celts celebrated this day as Imbolc, a pagan festival marking the beginning of spring. Later, Europeans would dub it Candlemas, a Christian holiday falling 40 days after Christmas. And then when German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania they brought their own take on the custom, declaring another 40 days of cold and snow if small animals, such as the Groundhog caught a glimpse of their shadow. Whatever lore you most enjoy and whichever traditions you subscribe to, for us this day marks a natural starting point to the most important part of the garden season, the planning process. We hope the information below will help you as you make your own plans for springtime, which will be here sooner than it seems in the midst of this snowy and cold week!

Go Wild - Grow Native! The Latest from the Roadside Stand


What's in Store for the 2022 Roadside Stand?

We'll be back this year with even more offerings at the Roadside Stand on Barneyville. In addition to a great assortment of Native Perennials that we can't wait to send off to area gardens, we will also have a selection of certified organic herb and veggie plants as well as some unusual and heirloom annual flowering plants selected for their uncanny abilities to draw beloved butterflies and hummingbirds to your yards.

We will still be open only limited days and hours but please contact us any time to find a time to stop by or to let us know if you are looking for something special that you'd like us to carry. We will be sharing all the details of the Roadside Stand schedule in the Spring edition of News from the Cactus Patch. In the meantime take a look at our growing plant lists by following the link below.

Check out the 2022 Roadside Stand Plant Lists
bee on milkweed.jpg

Will You Join Us?

“Chances are you never thought of your garden—indeed, all of your property—as a wildlife preserve that presents the last chance we have for sustaining plants and animals that were once common throughout the U.S. But that is exactly the role our suburban landscapes are playing.” - Doug Tallamy

Over the past century, urbanization has taken intact, ecologically productive land and fragmented and transformed it with lawns and exotic ornamental plants. The continental U.S. lost a staggering 150 million acres of habitat and farmland to urban sprawl, and that trend isn’t slowing. The modern obsession with highly manicured “perfect” lawns alone has created a green, monoculture carpet across the country that covers over 40 million acres. The human-dominated landscape no longer supports functioning ecosystems, and the remaining isolated natural areas are not large enough to support wildlife.

But the good news is that each of us can make a real difference right in our own yards. And, even more importantly, we can make a difference by encouraging neighbors to do the same. Join the movement, create a buzz!

Yards Gone Wild - Join the Movement, Invite a Friend!
earth care.jpg
earth care garlic.jpg

"Magic Dirt", what's the deal?

The foundation of every great garden no matter how big or small is the soil. And this is particularly true for organic gardening. For over 40 years, Earth Care Farm in Charlestown, RI has been producing high quality farm-made compost that gardeners and landscapers have come to rely upon to enrich their soil naturally. Their potting and bedding mixes are commonly referred to as "Magic Dirt" by fine gardeners and organic farmers across Rhode Island. But let's face it, Charlestown is a bit far for most of you to drive for your dirt. And that's why starting this year we will be offering it at the Roadside Stand. Need just a little bit? Then bring a bucket or two and fill them up! Let's get you that great compost to top dress your gardens or potting mix for containers and avoid the plastic bags that smaller quantities normally come in. Need a larger quantity? We can deliver right to your driveway locally, just message us for details. And this year, all of the native plants grown on site here at Prickly Ed's Cactus Patch will be grown in this magic dirt to give them an extra strong start!

Learn more about Earth Care Farm

Musings from the Cactus Patch

In the latest edition of Musings from the Cactus Patch, our Blog, we shared some inspirational video resources to help you dig in more on the subject of restoring habitat right in your own yard. These include an amazing talk by the one and only Dr. Doug Tallamy. Take a look and pass it along!

Read more on the Blog

Giving Back to the Community

Cut through the dense forest across the street from Prickly Ed's and you'll land on the pristine 40 waterfront acres that make up the Johannis Wildlife Preserve. Stewarded by the Barrington Land Conservation Trust, this property is home to a wide array of flora and fauna. This spring, with support from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a multi-year habitat improvement project will get underway at Johannis, focused on enhancing the property for wildlife, migrating songbirds and pollinators. You can read more about Johannis and the project in the Land Trust Newsletter, linked below.

We will be contributing 5% of Roadside Stand sales this year to the Johannis Restoration Project. You will also have the opportunity to "round up" your sale to help even more!

Read more about the Johannis Wildlife Preserve
blct johannis.jpg
johannis trees.jpg

Rewilding 2022

In case you missed it on Facebook, here is a great list of tips from the fine folks at the Catskills Native Plant Nursery on how to start gardening with nature rather than against it this coming year.

Structure garden spaces using mowed paths instead of large blocks of lawn. The result will look and feel more natural while requiring less polluting lawn care.

Naturalize areas around tree trunks to function as shelter and habitat for small creatures and to protect the bark and tree roots that keep a tree healthy. You can either just let vegetation grow in and edit it or create a planned garden space.

Learn to spot invasive and undesirable plants and remove them before they go to seed for fewer weeds in your garden and in nature.

Make sure any outdoor lighting follows the guides lines of International Dark Skies in order not to interfere with the navigation of nocturnal animals. https://www.darksky.org/light-pollution/wildlife/

Plant garden spaces densely so leaves shade the ground and you can eventually eliminate the task of mulching. Leaves offer better moisture retention and are healthier for soil than chipped wood when they break down.

Plant straight native species whenever possible and cultivars with proven nature value. Many cultivars are sterile and you need to research which ones to avoid. Some non-native plants still support pollinators, but you can’t just assume anything with a flower is beneficial.

Rake less overall so native bees, especially bumblebees, can safely nest in the ground and other small creatures can find leaf shelter when needed.

Aim to create a garden that works like an ecosystem. Observe the pocket environments of your property and chose plants that have evolved to want those conditions and thrive like they do in the nature.

Learn to co-exist with creatures like opossums, skunks, foxes, wasps, snakes and moles. These humble predators will handle many of your pest problems and you won’t need so many chemicals and traps, even some organic pest control methods can do harm.

Use plants to solve your landscape problems: high-water tables can be managed with plants that like “wet feet”, alpine and riparian plants can fix erosion problems; cool down your home with properly placed shade trees, buffer cold winter winds with evergreens and create privacy with biodiverse hedgerows.

All the above could be a topic unto itself, but this list is just meant to get you thinking about enhancing your garden for the coming year in a way that will enrich your interaction with the natural world and protect the wildlife we need to share it with.

Pass it Along!

Please share this newsletter with friends, family, neighbors and others who might enjoy these tips. Invite them to view our website, join us on Facebook and visit us at the Roadside Stand this year. Help us to Make Barrington Wild Again!

Visit our Website
Fred the Cactus.jpg
pe humm.png

Prickly Ed's Cactus Patch

 6 Barneyville Road,

Barrington, RI 02806-2715

(401) 248-4785

Email Us
LinkedIn Share This Email