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Bouquets of Zinnias

Jennifer among zinnias

Last year, our company’s president, Alfred Millard, had another one of his wonderful ideas! For the past few years, he planted beautiful sunflowers along our US 1 entrance. But last year he decided that, in addition, we should try some zinnias. What a sight they were! Once they started budding up, he asked Jennifer Park, our corporate office manager, what she thought about selling small bouquets of them in the store. Jennifer has long handled cut flowers for her church and is very talented at doing this sort of thing, so right away she told Alfred she would take care of it all! With the success of last year’s flower sales under her belt, this year Alfred planted even more!  Now you can find her most mornings out in the zinnia beds cutting the flowers after the dew has dried but before the heat of the day causes the petals or leaves to wilt or curl slightly.

This morning while she was out there, her husband took this wonderful picture of her. I thought you would enjoy seeing just who makes these beautiful arrangements! Jennifer also takes care of the bonsai that we have at the garden center with the help of her happy husband who waters for her. She runs the bonsai as a side business and sells them here on consignment. Later, around November, you will find her helping in the Christmas shop and running the custom wreath-making and porch pot department.

Jennifer makes the bouquets by selecting zinnias that have begun to open but aren’t quite in full bloom to ensure the longest vase life. She then quickly puts about 15 in a bunch and wraps them up with a bow.  They are for sale in the small cooler by customer service.

Annual zinnias make a long lasting colorful display in your garden, but they will also provide you with beautiful, long-lived color in your home. After you get your bouquet home, put them in a vase and place it in a cool area where the flowers receive bright but indirect sunlight. Overly warm temperatures or direct sun can cause the zinnias to wilt prematurely.  You will want to replace the water and preservative in the vase every two days, or sooner if it becomes cloudy or dirty.  Throw away any old zinnia stems as soon as they begin to wilt to prolong the life of the remaining flowers. You can also go out in your garden and add other flowers to your bouquet. Most of all, enjoy!

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 One Comment

  1. Last year, I visited the beds often after August. Since you planted the best zinnias, the single, not double bloom, the beds were loaded with butterflies , including monarchs. Thank you for doing that. It would also really be nice if Behnke’s sold the large single bloomers like State Fair and California Giant as plants so others could be turned on to these single bloom butterfly magnets which are important for Fall butterfly nectar and pollen. I buy your profusion variety, but it’s the ones you have in the beds that really attract the pollinators.

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