The nursery business used to be very different when Stephanie was growing up here at Behnke's. Read as she reminisces about the old days and the importance of getting the pansies just right to live up to Behnke quality standards.
Here we are, and it is March already. Time is going so fast, and while I am trying so hard to be upbeat about the coming season, I have to admit it is getting harder and harder. I thought last Fall and Christmas were hard. Seeing all the poinsettias in other garden centers and Behnke’s was closed for the first time in 89 years. But now, going into what would have been our 90th Spring Season, I am feeling so many things.
Excited to be able to call each weekend my own and do things with my family. I am even considering going to the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival for the first time ever this Spring. I am so happy I don’t have to worry about the wind blowing greenhouses apart or rainy weekends resulting in customers coming in. (by the way, rainy days are the best days to shop at a garden center) I am excited about visiting many of our local independent garden centers and seeing what they have that is new and exciting.
But, like some of you have written, I am beyond sad that I am not driving to Beltsville each day to see what Behnke’s buyers got in. As the nursery is slowly being dismantled for the eventual development, it hits home every time I drive there and walk around. My heart hurts even though I know closing was what had to be done.
And so now it begins. The reality that yes, we have closed. Yes, like you, I need to find my new garden center. So I am going to be positive about this new adventure. I have signed up for all the newsletters of ALL the local garden centers, and I will be making it a point to stop in to check them out. (And hopefully, write about what I find) Because I need some annuals and a few perennials. Plus, I have been wanting a new Redbud (those dear deer destroyed mine).
I totally forgot to buy some ESPOMA Holly Tone last year before we closed, which is my husband’s go-to fertilizer. I need about 10 bags of Leafgro along with my vegetable plants. No, I do not do the seed thing. I know I should, but I love getting the little plants already started. Last year we did not put in a vegetable garden, but this year I am ready to get out there and supervise my husband as he puts in the garden. I am excited. I am pumped, and I will find my new favorite place to hang out this Spring, even if it is just for an hour here or there.
I hope you are excited too. Spring is right around the corner, and we will all be okay.
By Stephanie Fleming, Beyond Behnke’s