Stephanie shares memories of walks with her grandmother, Rose Behnke, in Burtonsville, Maryland as a little girl.
My mother’s husband, Joe, used to work at Behnke’s in the ’70s and ’80s and went on to start his own wholesale nursery. He grows perennials and small shrubs for garden centers and landscapers, and was one of the grower-suppliers for Behnke’s when we were open.
When I got to their house the other day to visit mom, I saw that he had a large sign out front, “Perennials For Sale.” I thought …”oh, oh this should be interesting.” There it was. A massive wagon filled with a little of everything. As each day went by, I kept eyeing this one plant till I could not stand it anymore and asked him about it. ‘Nikko’ Slender Deutzia, which was originally released by the National Arboretum in DC.
Formally Deutzia gracilis ‘Nikko,’ it is described as an excellent ground cover type shrub that is compact and spreading. It can take full to part sun. What I liked about it is apparently in the fall the leaves turn a beautiful burgundy when it is grown in the sun. Of course, when I asked Joe how much it cost, he just gave it to me! Lucky me!
Home I went to break the news to my husband, he would need to be digging another hole somewhere. Of course, that led to much discussion about where. As usual, I wanted it up on my fence row, but he thought it would be better in the back yard garden. I just wanted it planted, so I agreed and went off to get the ESPOMA Bio-tone because if you have bought anything to be planted, that is what you need to give it a great start.
Deutsia Nikko perfect in the garden
I hope that if you are interested in this plant, check out your local independent garden center. We are so lucky to live in an area where there are so many to choose from. Buy local and support these fantastic businesses.
Stephanie Fleming; Beyond Behnke’s