One needn’t be a discerning gardener, a top-notch landscaper, or even an ardent botanist to appreciate the horticultural trappings at Ross & Ross Nursery. This Cresco stalwart, owned and operated by the same family since 1932, has wholeheartedly earned its status as a leading vegetation center planted in the Pocono Mountains. Indeed, what’s sold here makes even casual greenskeepers long for enduring agrarian bliss.
Jefferson Ross remains fulfilled through the calling undertaken by his father, Robert, nearly nine decades ago. What started as vending herbs inched its way to today’s premier enterprise. “Even at 85, my dad still grows much of what the Nursery sells, right from home,” says third generation owner Linda Ross Besecker who, along with brother Wayne, carries on the clan heritage.
Houseplants and bonsai simmer under paned greenhouse glass. Rustic chic abounds in a country store featuring kitschy home accents and gifts; among these are pottery and children’s clothing, forged by area purveyors. An adjoining thrift room tenders a plethora of new-to-you collectables. There’s even a mini-mart, spooning out idyllic yumminess with an assortment of jams, jellies, honey, and local baked goods.
Ross & Ross offers a range of flora tutorials throughout the year, including succulent and miniature gardens, along with courses on hypertufa, kokedama, and terrariums. At Christmas, the Nursery’s make-your-own-wreath class is very popular. “We loved each phase of the Mommy and Me Teacup Garden event – it was a nice bonding experience with my daughter. Of course, having wine on hand didn’t hurt,” laughs Stroudsburg’s Angela Chatham. The petal pushers also let their clientele decorate cupcakes and stroll through a whimsical Once Upon a Fairy forest walk.
To build upon their sylvan abundance, the Rosses opened Monroe County’s first lavender farm in 2017, across from the Nursery. “My grandparents instilled an appreciation of herbs in me, and I always wanted to do more with them. The land on which the Lavender Farm sits was a gift from my dear friend and teaching partner, Ruth Henry. I thought an open space where I share something meaningful with others would be the ultimate way to honor her,” Linda recalls.
The Farm’s addition has only magnified an already bucolic climate, becoming an instant hit with tourists and locals alike. “Ross & Ross has a large selection of lavender products, and a knowledgeable staff to help customers answer questions,” says June Cosgrove, of Philadelphia. “Their lavender truffles are divine, and the lavender-infused tea is calming. While there, I bought a cactus which has grown quite a bit since transplanting.”
So much more than a plethora of flowers, mulch, stone, and other garden essentials, the Nursery strives to achieve a single goal: to enrich one’s mind, body, and spirit. “We’re a place of rural calmness, surrounded by the best of what nature has to offer,” says Linda. That mom-and-pop calmness hibernates before New Year’s and emerges in April, as weather permits.
“This really is a perfect nursery. I visited with my family and bought several items to remind us of our Pocono vacation. While here, we gained much information from Linda, and will definitely be back in the near future,” enthuses Chet Cohen, a resident of Rochester, NY. “I wish there were more little places like this around. The world needs businesses like these.”
Ross & Ross Nursery
5801 Paradise Valley Road, Cresco PA 18326
Photos credit: Tom Eccleston
Article by: Tom Eccleston