Local First Friday: The Behnke Nurseries Co.
Guest Blog by Joelle Lang
The history behind it:
The Behnke Nurseries Co. was founded in 1930 by Albert Behnke. Albert, whose father was an award-winning horticulturist, traveled from his home in Kellinghusen, Germany, to Beltsville, Maryland, in search of a better future. He took a few jobs working with something he knew, flowers, before opening Behnke Nurseries. The company faced rough times in its early years, suffering through the Depression as well as a statewide drought. After WWII, however, the nursery experienced profound growth and expanded its small selection of plants to include annuals, perennials, roses, shrubs, and trees. Behnke Nurseries was the first company to own a modern greenhouse after the war. Since then, three more modern greenhouses were erected on the property.
What it’s like today:
Behnke Nurseries, located on Baltimore Avenue and open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week (and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday,) offers annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs, houseplants, herbs and vegetables, and a garden shop fit with gardening materials such as seeds and fertilizer, and books and calendars. They provide services such as landscaping, deliveries, and basic planting services. The store also hosts events all year such as speakers, activity workshops, and live music.
What makes it special:
“We have been really lucky that we have the best employees that anyone has ever had,” said vice president and marketing manager Stephanie Fleming. The employees at The Behnke Nurseries Co. make it unique because of their extensive knowledge of plants and horticulture and their passion for gardening.
Product-wise, the store offers an exceptionally vast selection of perennials as well as a huge line of native plants.
About the Author
Joelle Lang, a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, is a multi-platform journalism student in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. This autumn, she is also an editorial intern for Washington Gardener Magazine."Local First Friday" is a weekly blog series profiling independent garden businesses in the greater Washington, DC, and Mid-Atlantic region. Washington Gardener Magazine believes strongly in supporting and sourcing from local businesses first!