Being a seasonal business, every year as summer rolls around, we have to say goodbye to many phenomenal employees who made us shine through the busy spring months. This is Stephanie's thank you note to everyone who has been a part of the Behnke family over the years.
Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.
When Sonja and her family moved away from Beltsville, Stephanie again found herself working for Walnut Springs Nursery, a wholesale grower in Howard County, Maryland. It was here that she met her husband, Jon. Together they opened their own wholesale nursery, The Hillside Nursery. They were well known for supplying many garden centers and landscapers around the area with their annuals, pansies, mums, and poinsettias. They operated for 27 years while raising their two children.
In 2007 Stephanie came to Behnke’s to work full time. Jon and Stephanie realized that the 80 hour a week lifestyle of the greenhouse grower was more romantic in your twenties and thirties than in your fifties. Stephanie served as Vice President of Behnke Nurseries till the nursery closed in 2019. During this time, she was the buyer for the Christmas Shop and was a marketing/advertising team member.
Her work in the marketing and advertising department allowed her to help coordinate Behnke Nurseries’ social media platforms. It worked closely with the nursery’s webmaster, Larry Bristow. If you read the Behnke Blog, you have undoubtedly come across Stephanie, as she was the inspiration behind the weekly newsletter and blog.
Outside of her work with the nursery, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her family, including her three grandchildren. When her first grandchild was born, she took on the name Oma. She and her husband have taken up walking each morning and enjoy taking in nature at local parks. Stephanie loves connecting with gardening groups to talk about the history of Behnke Nurseries.