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.
With the closing of Behnke Nurseries, Stephanie decided to keep the weekly email going and started Beyond Behnke’s. The weekly blog is where you can catch a glimpse of what’s going on in the garden world. There will also be some history of Behnke’s.
Carol Allen has been involved in many aspects of gardening and horticulture since childhood and describes herself as a committable plant-a-holic. She has over twenty-five years experience in the horticulture industry with special interests in Integrated Pest Management (IPM), trees (she is an ISA certified arborist), landscape design, native plants, and tropicals of many kinds – especially orchids.
Carol has taught at several regional colleges in the areas of biology, biodiversity and many aspects of horticulture. She is certified in stormwater management systems and is a strong advocate of sustainability. She can often be heard giving talks on a wide range of topics at local venues, including Brookside Gardens, garden clubs and orchid societies.
Readers are informed and entertained by her column in the Washington Gardener magazine on pest issues. Carol confesses to growing a wide range of plants in and around her home that she shares with cats, anoles, tropical frogs, tropical fish, and pet snakes.
Christopher started working for Behnke’s in 2005 as a horticulturist in the Woody Plants Dept. and briefly as a Garden Shop Manager. Christopher is married and has two adult “children”. He grew up in western Howard County, Maryland, on a small farm where he learned to maintain the family vegetable garden and became interested in nature. He has a BA degree in geology and worked for a few years, in his twenties, on offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
Certifications and Affiliations:
Montgomery County Master Gardener since 2006.
Volunteers at Brookside Gardens’ plant clinics.
Maryland Certified Horticulturist with a specialist certification in Integrated Pest Management.
Beekeeper active with the Montgomery County Beekeepers Assoc.