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Behnke’s Best

Typically when you hear us mention “Behnke’s Best,” it’s about some of our favorite plants. But this time it’s about something that happens every year. Saying goodbye to some of the best employees from yet another Spring season. Each week a few more are gone as we go into hot Summer time when things slow down. Being a seasonal business, we ramp up our staff starting around February for the coming months. Everyone knows it’s a temporary job, but when June rolls around, we still all find it very difficult to say goodbye.

We have been so blessed over the years to have such wonderful people come work for us. Some are teens who are stepping out in the work world after school and on weekends for the first time. Others are working second jobs. Many are folks have such a love of plants and people that they come back season after season to help sell, unload trucks, water and smile!  I like to think that they all pretty much leave with good thoughts for Behnke’s along with a deeper appreciation of what it takes to keep a small local company going strong year after year. Because without our Behnke’s Best, (seasonal and full time employees), we would not be the company we are.

Since I don’t have a photo of this years’ group of employees, I am sharing one from the 40’s when we had a handful of terrific employees who helped my grandparents in the Spring. Some of these men and women went on to hold jobs at the White House, while others went on to careers in the military. A few went on to have their own companies.  And some stayed with Behnke’s until they retired.  All remained friends.

One of the best parts of my day is when a customer comes in and asks for help by a specific person.  That shows me that we really do have the very best.  So thank you to this years’ group of Spring staff, we could not have done it without you! And thank you to the rest of our employees, those who work day in and day out in the rain, the heat, the cold and the wind (yes they have to pick up all those trees and shrubs each time it storms), our buyers who order the products, our folks in the office who keep things running smoothly and our talented graphics ladies who make sure our events, sales flyers, and signage are top of the line. You all make us shine!

So I will say once again, so long to this years’ Spring group and thank you to ALL for being part of the Behnke’s Best family!

by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President

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.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. I remember being one of the seasonal employee’s at the then Largo location. I worked my senior year in High School and for some time after that. I however was fortunate enough to work even during the winter months in the Christmas shop making wreaths for orders or in the greenhouse learning how to propagate flowers with Francis.. Behnke’s laid such a foundation for me in my life. I tell my children that they have no idea what hard work is…try pulling weeds on the blacktop in the back day lilies field in 100 degree Maryland weather without any shade and just a thermos of quasi cool water.
    To this day, I have never visited a nursery that give me the same feeling as Behnke did, nor the same quality flowers and plants. Thank you for the building block that has become a piece of who I am.

  2. thank you for sharing your story. Francis still stops by once in a while and it is always nice to see her. take care,Stephanie Fleming

  3. Stephanie,
    Thank you for the ‘Behnke ‘s Best’ photo from the 40’s. My husband and I talked with you in the Nursery Dec. 23 and we mentioned that my father had worked in the Nursery during this timeframe. He is in the picture! Thank you for the photo! We always visit Behnke Nursery when we are in MD.

    AN Akers

      1. Hi Stephanie,
        My father, Carl E. Nordeen, Jr., Is 6th person from the left in the photo. He later had his own landscaping company and worked in Georgetown.

        I just received a violet from Behnke’s that my sister picked up for me and sent!

        A. Akers

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