Happy Thanksgiving from Prickly Ed's Cactus Patch Native Plant Emporium

November 24, 2022

Here's a link to one of our favorite pieces, 'Less Lawn More Life'. Share it and help spread the word!

We are Thankful for All of You!

Holidays are a great time for reflection. Here are some things we are thinking about. There are thousands more New England Native plants in the ground in our local area than there were just seven months ago. We sold out of plants like milkweed and goldenrod more times than we can count. Think about that - milkweed and goldenrod - plants that not too long ago were thought of as weeds are now best sellers. We met the most interesting, eclectic and energizing group of people we could imagine, right in our own side yard. We learned many, many more things about growing and getting plants - things that will come in handy as we continue to, well - grow! So thank you for coming along on this journey. Thank you to all of you who are working so hard in your yards and communities to change the way we all garden for the greater good. We know that sometimes, especially when surrounded by a sea of lifeless, chemically laden, leaf blown lawns it can seem like an uphill battle. But, in the words of Margaret Mead "Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world, in fact it is the only thing that ever has."

Visit our Updated Website

We have added a wealth of brand new information to our website in an effort to support all of you in adding more life to your gardens. We hope it also provides a place you can send friends, neighbors and relatives for more information on a new way to approach gardening. The site includes garden planning tools, links to expert resources, videos to watch and ways to connect with us and others. We encourage you to visit, bookmark the site and return to it often over the off season to explore all the site has to offer.

Explore the Website

Some of the Exciting New and Expanded Website Features

Life in the Garden Blog

Our Life in the Garden Blog features our own writings on topics focused on bringing more life into your yard and our community. Many of these pieces also run in the local newspaper, the Barrington Times. We have created a whole page dedicated to these articles so that you can easily find, read and share them widely!

Read the Blog

Planting for Pollinators, Birds and other Wild Creatures

From articles, to videos to tools, we've bundled the most helpful resources from the best known experts into easy to navigate pages - explore!

Be a Birdscaper
Plant for Pollinators
Get Wild - Plant Native

Planning Your Garden Habitat

You've dug in on the science and are committed to making a difference right outside your door. But, now what? Where do you begin to select the right plants and design and maintain them in a way that works for you and for nature? Explore our resources and writings on just this very subject.

Plan Your Garden

Give the Gift of Nature Based Gardening

Throughout the 2022 holiday season purchase $50.00 worth of gift certificates and pay just $45.00. All gift certificates include a helpful and decorative handout on gardening with native plants to help spread the message far and wide!

Bundle gift certificates with a great book to help inspire others to embrace nature based gardening. We are now offering our very favorite books for purchase, read all about them at the link below. If you'd like we will even gift wrap to make the holiday season as easy as possible for you! Arrange pick up at the Roadside Stand. Gift certificates can also be mailed. Visit our 2022 gift guide web page for all the details and send us a message to order.

Visit our 2022 Holiday Gift Page
Send us a Message

Watch "What's the Rush" with Doug Tallamy

In just a quick 24 minutes the legendary Doug Tallamy sums up the urgency of our biodiversity crisis and eloquently lays out a call to action for each and every one of us. At the end of a busy Thanksgiving Day we urge you to kick back and take the time to watch the video and then to share it with your family and friends. Feel the urgency! And spread the word.

Watch  "What's the Rush" by Clicking Here

Getting Your Garden Ready for Winter

In November we enter the dark half of the year with hours of nighttime stretching longer than day. It is also a quieter time in our gardens; but life is still there, even if less obvious. If you joined other area residents this summer in creating a garden habitat for pollinators you may be wondering where those special creatures are now. Many of them are right where they were all summer, there in your garden, just tucked away for a long winter’s nap. That’s why the growing cry of #LeavetheLeaves is so much more than just a hash tag; it is an essential part of gardening with nature instead of against it. Flowering plants provide essential nectar and thoughtfully selected native plants serve as host plants and food supplies for birds and other wildlife, but overwintering habitat is ultimately just as important for pollinator success. According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Research, winter habitat used by pollinators includes leaf litter, brush piles, dead branches, hollow plant stems, bare dirt and areas under rocks. Swallowtail butterflies, Luna moths and fireflies are all hunkered down in leaf litter right now; those leaves are habitat not debris to be put at the curb... Continue reading at the link below to explore more about Leaving the Leaves, Saving the Stems and Planting for Winter Interest.

Continue Reading 'Life in the Wintertime Garden' By Clicking Here

Are Your Holiday Decorations Wildlife Safe?

Before decking the outdoor halls consider a few ways that you can help keep birds and other wild friends safe this holiday season. Fake greenery and berries may look picture perfect to humans but can be very confusing to a foraging bird. Even living wreaths, garlands and arrangements often include artificial berries and nuts or grains that have been dyed, preserved or otherwise treated with chemically toxic substances to improve color and durability. Glitter and fake snow are the icing on the cake. Birds attracted to what they perceive as a bounty may forage and ingest pieces, especially smaller, brightly colored berries before realizing their mistake, which can be lethal. As you create a healthy habit, your yard will be filled with interesting materials that are perfect for holiday decorating. Branches from red twig dogwood, seed heads from sumac, bursts of winterberry and inkberry holly and an array of dried flower and seed heads can all be put to great use. And if you aren't feeling crafty, some of our local organic farms, like Moonrose Farm in Rehoboth, offer custom made wreaths crafted of chemical free natural materials gathered from their land.

We encourage you to also be thoughtful with outdoor lighting. Bright lights at night mess with essential nocturnal habits. Optimal foraging takes place for many species under the cover of darkness. Holiday lights dramatically brighten the situation and have the potential to throw off the essential predator-prey relationship. Bright light displays can also be incredibly confusing to wildlife. Birds can be drawn in by the displays and become disoriented, leaving them at high risk for collisions with structures. And heartbreaking photos of deer with antlers tangled in Christmas lights and netting won't soon be forgotten. A little extra thought, care and caution in outdoor decorating will go a long way to help all creatures enjoy the holiday season.

And finally, consider the history of this season which was a time of quiet reflection in the darker days leading up to the Winter Solstice. Sit back and enjoy the simple, quiet beauty of nature at this magical time of year. You might just find that ultimately brings you more joy as well.

Explore Bird Friendly Decorating with the Audubon
Read More About Light Pollution Effects on Wildlife and Ecosystems

Recommended Upcoming Event

On December 6, 2022 from 7-8:30 pm The Mass Pollinator Network, Lexington Living Landscapes & the Cary Memorial Library co-present:


 “Landscaping for Pollinators and Birds at Home” with Dr. Desiree Narango (Dr. Desiree Narango is a conservation scientist at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies in White River Junction, VT. Her research program focuses on understanding how global change impacts bird and insect populations and identifying biodiversity conservation solutions in human-dominated habitats.)


Desiree Narango will speak about her research studying how residential landscapes and gardening practices influence wildlife habitats. The talk will focus on Dr. Narango’s recent work comparing how native and nonnative plant species vary in supporting species interactions. She will talk about the relationships between plants and insects, why insects matter to birds, and small steps you can take to improve and restore habitat for wildlife ‘at home’.

Register for the Event Here

Help Us Bring More Life to Our Region

We are on a mission to bring life back to area yards and gardens and you can help. Share this message with others using the links below. Invite friends to follow our Facebook Page. Use our newly updated website to share out helpful resources and information to friends and neighbors who are ready to grow habitat outside their own doors. With your support positive change is within reach.

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Prickly Ed's Cactus Patch

 6 Barneyville Road,

Barrington, RI 02806-2715

(401) 248-4785

Please note, use the address above for mailing or for GPS but the Roadside Stand/Native Plant Emporium is located in Swansea, MA directly next door to the address listed above. Just look for the sign and for the big red barn.

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Join Us on Facebook

Prickly Ed's Cactus Patch, Roadside Stand, Apothecary and Native Plant Emporium is a super small, hyperlocal, roadside stand located directly on the border of Barrington, RI and Swansea, MA focused on making the area a little bit wilder one yard at a time! Offering great native plants, prickly pear cactus, magic dirt, unusual pollinator friendly annuals, organic herb and vegetable plants, lots of solicited and unsolicited advice & random curiosities designed to get your yard really buzzing. You can read all about us on our website, including the story of where the name Prickly Ed's Cactus Patch came from.

Read More About Us Here