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Meet Christopher Lewis

Christopher Lewis

A familiar face to Beltsville shoppers is Christopher Lewis, former manager of the Potomac garden shop. Chris is now in our Woody Plants department in Beltsville.

Origins

Farm boy here!  Christopher grew up on a farm in Howard County, and went off to Susquehanna University in PA to study geology.  That led to work in the oil fields of Louisiana, then using his engineering talents closer to home as a supervisor of construction at BWI Airport.

Eventually Christopher decided to get away from the bureaucratic pressures of that job and pursue his life-long love of growing plants, first by studying horticulture at the USDA Graduate School and entering the Montgomery County Master Gardener program.

Working in Gardening 

Christopher started working at Behnkes in 2005 and with the help of Larry Hurley and financial support from Behnkes, studied for and passed the test to become a Certified  Professional Horticulturist.  Next, he achieved specialty certification in Integrated Pest Management.  At Behnkes he has worked with trees and shrubs and has been the manager of the garden shop for two seasons now.  Before coming to Behnkes, Christopher worked for another garden center and as an “indoor plant technician” keeping plants alive and healthy in office buildings.

Off-Work

After hours, Christopher gets to tend to his own garden in Silver Spring, where he pursues his passions for edibles and native plants.   He’s also the proud owner of his own bee hives, having completed the Montgomery County Beekeeper training. And when not gardening or working in a garden center, Christopher’s a busy family man, joining his two sons in their Boy Scouts activities (Eagle Scouts – done!), and as an active church member.

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.

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