One surefire way to enhance the beauty of your Poconos home (and enhance your enjoyment of it at the same time) is to give some serious thought to the landscaping of the property surrounding your home. There are lots of great ideas out there about how you can create great plans for almost any kind of look you want (a quick search on houzz.com/landscaping will yield over 1,000,000 photos from which to choose!). That’s a lot of choices!
Of course it could be argued that a design is only as good as the foliage that’s planted. An important element to consider when you’re preparing to landscape your Poconos property is whether the plants you choose will actually do well in the area you’re planning to landscape.
That’s where the advice from an expert such as Pamela T. Hubbard (Penn State Master Gardener of Monroe County) is invaluable. Last year she published recommendations for the best plants for the Poconos. You click here to read her entire list of suggestions, but we’d like to offer you a quick look at her top two recommendations in four of the major planting categories: Perennials, annuals, shrubs, and vegetables. By the way, if you click on the photo links for each of the plants described, you can get additional information—and even order!
- Tall Bearded Iris "Ninja Warrior": If you’re tired of losing plants to the four-footed residents of the Poconos, irises are a perfect choice deer generally avoid them. The "Ninja Warrior" is stunning with smoky pink upright petals that blend to dark orchid center ribs and velvet black lower petals. It also gives off a slight sweet perfume. Another bonus is that shorter stalks ensure it will remain upright on windy days. Photo from mid-America Garden
- Delphinium elatum "Dasante Blue": This clump-forming perennial can has a truly stately appearance. If you love blue flowers the rich blue colors of the “Dasante Blue” (which bloom from early to late summer) will delight you. Photo from whiteflowerfarm.com
- Calibrachoa "Superbells Holy Moly!": It’s hard not to like something with the name, “Superbells Holy Moly!” This fun plant has a bright and cheerful red, yellow and white new color pattern. With the Superbells series of plants you don’t have to be concerned about “deadheading.” That makes them a great choice for hanging baskets and containers placed in full sun. ". Photo courtesy of gardencrossings.com
- Pelargonium (Geranium) "Brocade Fire": You can enjoy this flower’s unique bi-color foliage that will continuously produce semi-double orange flowers. It thrives in heat and will keep its striking leaf and bloom colors into fall. Plant in full sun, partial shade or shade in a border or container. Photo courtesy of gardencrossings.com
- Azalea "Electric Lights Red": This hardy azalea, with its fire-engine-red flower, is perfect for the Poconos because it will survive winter temperatures of -30 degrees F. "Electric Lights" requires very little pruning. (Note: Prune azaleas ONLY immediately after blooming has ceased or they wont bloom next year.) Like all azaleas, "Electric Lights" loves acid soil. Photo from baileynurseries.com
- Bush Honeysuckle "Kodiak Orange": This native North American bush honeysuckle features striking glossy, green foliage that turns a glowing orange-red in fall. It is an eco-friendly alternative to the burning bush. It is not invasive and has a compact size of three to four feet in height and width. It is very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies because of its yellow flowers. "It thrives in sun or shade and is deer resistant. Photo from Proven Winnders® springmeadownursery.com
- Tomato "Genuwine": This tomato is a cross of the heirlooms "Brandywine" and "Costoluto Genovese" and provides robust growth, earlier fruiting and a bigger harvest. Like its parents, "Genuwine" has superb flavor. It’s a favorite in White Flower Farms trials. Photo from whiteflowerfarm.com
- Pepper ‘Escamillo’: This pepper is beloved for its sweet taste, high yield and compact size. The golden yellow peppers appear early. Because they grow above ground, they are easy to harvest. ‘Escamillo’ is excellent when eaten raw, cooked, or fire roasted. Photo from Johnny’s Selected Seeds