Ross Plants & Flowers

Ross Plants & Flowers

April showers bring May flowers, as the popular poem goes. It is also the time when folks flock to Ross Plants & Flowers, the long-time experts know. Ross Plants & Flowers is a well-known, yet hidden treasure, located on Route 309, directly across from Orefield Middle School.

Ross is one of the busiest businesses of its kind in the Lehigh Valley, its owners surmise, because it is one of the few places customers can go to throughout the year for a flora trifecta: flowers cut for any occasion, unique gifts, a plethora of plants and
landscape services.

“Spring is definitely our busiest season,” said Monica Yurconic-Groff, who, with her husband Mike, owns the 77-year-old business. With Mother’s Day, school proms and the start of planting season, Ross employees work seven days a week to keep up.

“There are many florists that have greenhouses and garden centers, but the landscaping piece is a piece I feel is unique,” Yurconic-Groff said. “We run two very distinct businesses, but when the need arises, they overlap harmoniously.”

Whether a customer needs fresh cut flowers, blooming plants or someone to spread mulch or create a beautiful landscape, Ross is the answer.

The harmony happened serendipitously. Mike Groff, who worked a mile away at his father’s business, Gardenique, became a frequent customer of Rita (Ross) Frey, then then-owner of Ross Plants & Flowers. Groff purchased the majority of his plant material from Frey – so much so that she became like a second mother to him.

In 2005, as Groff’s father began approaching retirement, the Groffs purchased the landscaping side of Gardenique and began operating the landscape company under its new name, Naturalscapes.  The timing could not have been more perfect.

In 2006, as the Groffs began searching for a location for Naturalscapes, Frey decided to retire and was thrilled to be able to sell her beloved Ross Plants & Flowers to the Groff family. The Groffs chose to keep the name of Ross Plants & Flowers to honor the Frey’s tradition – which began in 1938 – of selling annuals and vegetables from the front porch of 2704
PA Route 309.

“It was like a perfect union,” Yurconic-Groff said. “The flower business was a great fit with the landscaping company.” So, whether a customer needs fresh cut flowers, blooming plants or someone to spread mulch or create a beautiful landscape, Ross is the answer, a
one-stop shop.

Ross customers return year-after-year to purchase vegetables, herbs, bedding plants, annuals and hanging baskets. There is pure happiness in the air as customers regale the staff with harvest tales from last year and share their garden plan ideas for this year.

Ross carries a wide variety of herbs and some of the hottest pepper plants in the Valley. The color and beauty of their flowering pots and hanging baskets is beyond compare.  2015 promises to bring an exciting spring season with all the improvements they have incorporated over the winter.  “Every year we work hard to make our shop better and more customer-friendly.  That is a really fun part of our job,” states Yurconic-Groff.


The gift shop carries a tremendous selection of eclectic and interesting garden themed items. These products range from whimsical, like the miniature gypsy garden line, to the very popular and practical Scout bag line.  Ross’s colorful, artistic garden peace poles make for striking conversation pieces in any landscape décor and there are even some rather large “Shrek-like” foot garden planters.

This winter, Ross has also added a charming potting bench area they have nicknamed “Sammy’s Happy Place” (in honor of their customer’s favorite greenhouse manager – Samantha Schmoyer).  Here, customers will be able to mix and match their plant choices to their favorite container and then have a Ross staff member do the “dirty work” of planting them.

The shelves will be filled with bright and beautiful pots of all shapes and sizes along with a fun new line from Studio M. In addition, Ross Plants and Flowers carries a large line of miniature gardening plants and accessories and plans to offer classes in miniature and fairy gardening over the summer.

“When you see all the ideas of what you can create with miniature gardens, you will want to make one yourself,” Yurconic-Groff said.

A former elementary school teacher and reading specialist, Yurconic-Groff enjoys helping customers learn how to care for flowers and plants and create eye-catching arrangements. For the past three years, she and her staff have conducted flower arranging classes in the community. The largest, held last November, attracted more than 100 women to Lehigh Country Club.  Rita Frey and her
husband, Bob, even pitched in to help.

While Spring is definitely a busy season for the greenhouse, the flower shop is also a central hub of activity. Word is definitely getting out about the talented floral designers at Ross and their calendar is filled with weddings and special events. The bulletin board in their wedding consultation area overflows with notes from happy customers who were deeply touched by their flower arrangements whether for weddings, showers, retirements or funeral work. The designers at Ross know how to listen to their customers and take their vision and bring it to life with flowers and plants and other natural elements culled from nature.

Customer Alice Brown of Orefield appreciates the variety and services at Ross.  She and her husband were long time customers of Frey and continued with Ross when the Groffs took over. Brown chose Ross to design her daughter’s wedding flowers and credited Yurconic-Groff with an “impeccable touch of flower arranging.” The walkway for the reception at their home was decorated with ferns and potted flowers that were “gorgeous,” Brown said. Ross provides high quality at reasonable prices, she added. “They know me, what I like,” Brown said. “And they are very friendly.”

In addition to using Ross for their fresh flowers, they also choose Naturalscapes to manicure and maintain their many flower beds and to hang Christmas lights along their roofline.

“They have a truck with a hose that blows the mulch,” she said, grateful that her family no longer has to wheel it themselves in wheelbarrows.  The crew works “clean,” she said, adding that Mike Groff is often on the job or oversees his crew, who remind her of a swarm of busy bees.

For Yurconic-Groff and team, spring might be the busiest season, but every season calls for special flowers, plants and décor. In the summertime patrons can still purchase plants, perennials and trees; fall features mums, pumpkins and hay bales; winter brings Christmas trees, poinsettias, wreaths and greens.

“Plants and flowers make people happy,” Yurconic-Groff said. “How awesome is it to be able to work with something that brings people such joy.”

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