Use the resources below to begin planning your space. There is a lot of information on this page and it can be at bit overwhelming at first. But, spending the time to research plants will ultimately bring you the most success! Dig in on the tools, plans and plant lists below. Contact us any time with questions. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter (just send a message with your e-mail address to be added.) We also encourage you to attend one or more of the educational programs we offer in the community. Stay tuned to social media for announcements of upcoming events.
Read about the Importance of Native Plants
In this Evening with the Exerts session, Benjamin Vogt explores what would happen if our society not only developed compassion for other species but recognized and advocated for their inherent worth. Benjamin Vogt will explore why our gardens are ideal settings to cultivate this compassion, and how they can help us grow into our fullest potential as stewards of life.
Right Plant - Right Place is essential to success. We recommend that you use the many tools below to begin planning your space. These resources will help you search for plants with the characteristics you are looking for. Use these tools to develop a plant list for your site and then visit us to get gardening!
Two of our preferred wholesale plant growers have wonderful searchable plant databases on their websites. You can search by your special growing conditions, by plant height, bloom time and even bloom color to find the right plant for your place! Be sure to include "Northeast Native" in your search criteria. If you have your heart set on a specific plant or need large quantities of any varieties be sure to outreach to us to discuss special order options - note that both of these growers are wholesale only, they do not sell to the general public.
Providing wildflower-rich habitat is the most significant action you can take to support pollinators. Adult bees, butterflies, and other pollinators require nectar as their primary food source, and female bees collect pollen as food for their offspring. Native plants, which are adapted to local soils and climates, are usually the best sources of nectar and pollen for native pollinators. Incorporating native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees into any landscape promotes local biological diversity and provides shelter and food for a diversity of wildlife. Most natives require minimal irrigation, flourish without fertilizers, and are unlikely to become weedy. The Xerces fact sheet features regionally native plants that are highly attractive to pollinators and are well-suited for small-scale plantings in gardens, urban greenspaces, and farm field borders, and on business and school campuses.
Grow Native Massachusetts offers a wonderful array of plant lists and landscape guides designed for homeowners in our region on their website. Visit and dig in!
The plant list resources at this site are based on years of research at the Gegear Lab at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Use these lists to help support specific species of at risk pollinators in your garden.
The Massachusetts Audubon Society has published a list of beneficial plants for birds & other wildlife. Explore the resource at the link below.
Enter your 5-digit zip into Audubon’s native plants database and explore the best plants for birds in your area, as well as local resources and links to more information. By entering your email address, you'll receive an emailed list of the native plants you've selected and get additional tips on creating your bird-friendly habitat.
Use this site to search by zip code to find plants that host the highest numbers of butterflies and moths to feed birds and other wildlife where you live.
The Rhode Island Native Plant Guide was developed by the URI Cooperative Extension in collaboration with the Rhode Island Natural History Survey and their Rhody Native Initiative.
The US Parks Department provides highly accessible and shareable resources to help you plan your home, school or public pollinator garden. The site includes regional planting cards.
All native plants play an important role in ecosystem building, but some do a better job than others of attracting the beneficial bugs that are essential to effective organic vegetable gardening. Click on the image to explore more.
Enhance habitat near vegetable gardens by planting Native Flowering Plants provides two essential services, beneficial pest control and pollination. Click on the image to learn more about the beneficial bugs you want in your yard.
When we think of growing food it is often the non-native agricultural crops that we have become accustomed to. But many of our wonderful and beneficial native plants have a rich history of culinary uses. Explore more in this 14-page guide.
Dig in to this fantastic pollinator planting guide specific to our region. It includes helpful charts of bloom times for beneficial plants and charts host plants for our native butterflies.
Native plants have developed something of a bad rap among some homeowners and even garden professionals as messy and hard to manage plants that do not fit in with the neighborhood. We vehemently disagree! But, we are also sensitive to the fact that some people are not fully ready to embrace their wild side and want a more subtle transition. Fortunately there are many beautiful native plants that not only fit well into a residential yard, but also provide multiple benefits. The book "Native Plants for Small Yards" features ideas and recommendations for these native plants that will work well in a flower garden or home landscaping project, especially for the resident with the small yard. Just click on the button below to download and start reading.
During the Spring of 2023 we had the good fortunate of hosting a University of Rhode Island Intern. Logan is majoring in Plant Sciences and participated in the URI Master Gardener Training. During his time with us he put together the lists below to help you with your yard and garden planning!
So many of our native plants are well suited to rain gardens. To get you started with your plant list click the image above to explore this resource from the University of New Hampshire.
Detailed guidance on creating a rain garden to manage storm water - includes good plant lists. Click the image above to download the guide.
Click on the image above To explore this free, a fun app from the University of Connecticut. From video tutorials to searchable plant databases this app Offers a fun way to get your rain garden project off the ground.
Bordering properties with deep rooted native plants is a fantastic way to mitigate storm water run off and to block pollutants. But plants near roadways are subject to exposure to road salt. Focus on salt tolerant native plantings for these spaces.
Rising sea levels, heavy rains and moon tides converged on Barrington this year leaving some backyards flooded by nearby waterways. Focus on deep rooted native plants with high salt tolerance for maximum resiliency in these areas.
In our experience here at the Barneyville All You Can Eat Buffet, a hungry deer will snack on nearly anything, though some plants are clearly not preferred. We don't advocate the growing trend to spray plants with products that alter the smell and taste of the plant since the science is not clear on what deleterious effects this might have on the pollinators we are working to help. Deer have become a challenge in residential landscapes because of habitat loss so our real suggestion is that we need to conserve the last available wild spaces we have and build back habitat at home so there are more suitable places for wildlife to be wild. In the meantime we have found that the more aromatic a plant is the less likely a deer is to be interested and by planting densely (lots of plants) damage will be minimized. As shrubs and trees mature they also become less palatable.
Note that our articles also run monthly in our local community newspaper, the Barrington Times.
Now that you have planted the perfect pollinator paradise be sure to nurture your new habitat in a way that also nurtures life. Learn more about Leaving the Leaves and Saving the Stems from the Xerces Society at the link below.
Learn more about the harmful effects of pesticides at the link below. Many of these pesticides are lurking in commonly used lawn and garden products, please use extra caution when caring for your pollinator patch.
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