Happy Spring!

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Prickly Ed's Cactus Patch Native Plant Emporium

March 19, 2022

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Opening for the Season April 28, 2023

The winter that never really was flew by and we are working overtime to get everything ready for opening day. We have some amazing things in store this season, can't wait to see you all! For the first few weeks of the season (also known as Manic May) we will be open:

Wednesday and Thursday from 3:00 - 7:00pm

Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am - 5:00pm

Or by appointment other days and times

How many beneficial native plants can we get planted in area yards and gardens? Thousands with your help and support - Let's Do This!

As many of you already know, inventory at the Emporium is ever changing, just like the New England weather. We do not have a live online inventory or ordering system. In the Amazon era we know this can be frustrating to some, but, view it with an entirely different spin. Our vibe is the Emporium of yesteryear where you would drive somewhere, explore the offerings and enjoy the experience along the way. In the process you discover things you never even knew you needed until you saw them. Stop by often and join in the fun! And, here is what you can be assured of;

  • We have the widest variety of straight species Northeast Native Plants available anywhere in our area and we carry them in a variety of sizes ranging from deep root landscape plugs to 2-3 gallon shrubs in an effort to offer options for everyone
  • We carry an array of unusual, dramatic, stunning, designer flowering annuals selected for their uncanny ability to draw butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard
  • We offer a wide selection of certified organic herb and veggie plants with varieties selected for their proven ability to grow well in our climate
  • We even have complimentary products including Earth Care Farms Compost and Buckwheat Hulls Mulch along with garden gifts including fantastic books
  • We never use pesticides of any kind here on site and holes in leaves and hitchhiking caterpillars and lady bugs are offered at no extra charge :-)!
Click here to read more about the Native Plant Emporium
First Time Visiting? Get Directions

The following lists will give you an idea of the types of plants that will be available during the month of May. We often sell out of popular items quickly (but do restock regularly). Not everything on the lists will be available all the time and many things not listed are likely to magically appear! Native perennials that we grow on site (our famous red pots) are available starting in June. Our signature plant, the Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus is always available and special orders are welcomed at any time.

Gallon Sized Perennials and 1-3 Gallon Shrubs
Native Perennial Deep Root Landscape Plugs
Flowering Annuals - Hummingbird and Butterfly Favorites
Certified Organic Herb and Vegetable Plants

What's All the Fuss About Native Plants Anyway? Also, What Exactly Is A Native Plant?

Some of you found your way to us because you already drank the Native Plant Kool-Aid and are ready to get busy building back habitat at home. But many others - neighbors, friends, plant curious stoppers-by may be less sure what all this buzz is about. Native plants are at the foundation of resilient, life supporting gardens and landscapes. Despite this, horticulture industry surveys have shown that less than 20% of plants sold in traditional garden centers are Native Plants. That means that many, actually most, of the plants we are so accustomed to seeing in area landscapes, perhaps even our own yards are not in fact the "Native Plants" you are suddenly hearing so much about. So what's an ecologically minded gardener to do? Study up, learn more and become your yard's number one advocate. Click below to start exploring the topic.

Click Here To Learn More About Native Plants

Don't Spring Too Quickly Into Spring Clean Up!

We've sprung our clocks ahead and celebrated Vernal Equinox after an unusually mild winter. This combination leads to the kind of spring fever that gets gardeners itching to head outside and tidy up. Try to be patient. If you embraced nature center garden practices last fall then leaves were left lying and spent stems standing. That means your garden has provided essential habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife during the winter months. While tradition may draw us to the aesthetics of a tidy garden, it is not what is best for the many creatures who need our help, or even for the plants themselves. So, wait as long as you can, and clean up lightly. Our ever-changing spring weather makes it impossible to pinpoint an exact date, but generally, it is safe to get to work when daytime temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees. When you do head out to tackle clean up, consider these tips and the pollinators, songbirds and even your garden will thank you! 

Click Here To Continue Reading the Spring Clean Up Tips

Dig In To New Planning Resources

We have added several new planning resources to our website and encourage you to explore them by clicking the button below. Be sure to really dig in to the two featured resources that are super helpful and very timely for springtime garden planning!

Click Here To Visit the Planning Your Garden Resource Page

Selecting Plants for Your Pollinator Garden

by the Pollinator Partnership and the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign.  

This fantastic planting guide is specific to our region. It includes helpful charts of bloom times for beneficial plants to help you plan for successional blooming throughout the whole season and also maps host plants to native butterflies so you can ensure that your garden is full of the most beneficial plants for the maximum buzz. 

Click Here To Download The Guide

Beneficial Wildflowers for Beneficial Insects - Yes Please!

Fact Sheets from the Amazing Heather Holm

95% of insects are beneficial! When you use pesticides - even organic ones - many more good bugs are killed than "pests" it is simple math! Let beneficial insects do their jobs, much less work for you and much better for the planet! But how do you attract these magical beneficial insects? Glad you asked. Many of the secrets lie in native wildflowers. Dig in to the science in the resources below and let nature build back balance in your yard.

Click Here to Download Beneficial Wildflowers for Beneficial Insects
Click Here to Download Beneficial Insects for Fruit and Vegetable Growers
Click Here to Register for the Program and Help Us Create an East Bay Buzz!

Join Us On May 31, 2023 at Blithewold in Bristol, RI for a Riveting ;-) Program Titled

"Bring More Life To Your Garden"

From the Program Description:

"Join Cindy and Ed Moura from Prickly Ed’s Cactus Patch Native Plant Emporium to dig in to the practical fundamentals of nature-centered gardening. Using a foundation of native plants and embracing ecological principles, your landscape can become a buzzing birdscape and pollinator paradise! Through inspirational presentations and lively discussions, participants will explore ways to garden with nature instead of battling against it. Minds and hearts will opened to new ways to think about beauty in our gardens as participants examine ways to manage properties with biodiversity, sustainability, and resiliency at the root."

Inspiration and Gratitude!

Beneficial, eco-friendly, native plant centered gardens are often criticized as too wild, too messy, too much for traditional urban and suburban yards. We have some opinions on this (are you surprised, HA!)? First of all we believe this is because of conditioning, and in large part conditioning from industries that stand to make a lot of money if we (literally) buy in to the chemically soaked, heavily maintained, exotic plant filled landscapes they are selling. Secondly, thoughtful planning and an eye to good design can go a really long way towards melding wild and beautiful in a way that few could argue benefits both nature and property values along the way. Amazing design is very much scalable. To devise your own magical plan look to some of the masters of naturalistic gardening - study their works and designs and incorporate some of those replicable elements into your own landscape. This has been a theme in presentations we've done lately and we've been able to discuss and showcase that thanks to the kindness of some of our very favorite designers who graciously shared their imagery with us and who so generously share their talents and knowledge with the world. Here are four amazing professionals whose work you should get to know! Visit their websites, follow them on Social Media and get inspired to create beneficial spaces that are beautiful too.

Click On the Photos To View Their Work and To Learn More About Them.

"Plantsman" Kelly D. Norris shown above. Click on the photo to view his work.

Edwina von Gal of the Perfect Earth Project and 2/3 for the Birds shown above. Click on the photo to learn more.

Hear Edwina Speak at an Upcoming Grow Native Massachusetts Evening With the Experts Event - Click Here to Register

Larry Weaner of Larry Weaner Landscape Associates and New Directions in The American Landscape shown above. Click on the photo to learn more.

Benjamin Vogt of Monarch Gardens, LLC shown above. Click on the photo to explore his many works and resources.

Register to Attend the Barrington Pollinator Pathway Presentation

Northeast Pollinator Pathway Initiative

Ready to join together with neighbors to create a buzz? Be sure to join the Northeast Pollinator Pathway. Fragmentation of habitat makes it difficult - sometimes even impossible - for bees, butterflies, birds (even our beloved hummingbirds) to find enough life supporting habitat. By creating corridors of connected habitat - private and public spaces - we give them a chance to survive and even thrive. To be most effective though, lots of connected properties are needed. So get involved, and encourage neighbors to do the same. If you are in or near Barrington, mark your calendars for an upcoming presentation by Barrington Land Conservation Trust Pollinator Committee Volunteers happening May 23rd at the Barrington Public Library. It is a great opportunity to learn more about the Pathway Project and how you can get involved.

Help Us Bring More Life to Our Region

We are on a mission to bring life back to area yards and gardens but we can't do it without all of you. 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.

Read our Life in the Garden Blog
New to Our Mailing List? Click Here to Check Out Prior Newsletter Editions 
Visit and Share all of the Updated Resources on our Website
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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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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