This week I decided to drive to see what was going on at Homestead Gardens, a well-known garden center in Davidsonville, MD. We needed some pepper plants for our garden and hoped to see Deb S. from Behnke’s perennial department. Unfortunately, I missed her. However, I had such a wonderful time just walking around the garden center. Homestead Gardens will always hold a very special place in my heart. The late founder Don Riddle started his career working for my grandfather at Behnke’s until he created one of the best garden centers in our area. Don was also someone that believed in giving back to the community and helping other garden centers when he could. He helped Behnke’s out many times, and for that, we will always be grateful.
Beyond The Plants At Homestead Gardens
While walking around, I have to admit, I was a tiny bit jealous when I saw their enormous gift shop. Many of us at Behnke’s always wanted to have a year-round gift shop, but our structure was just not set up to handle something like that. Then what did I see? One of our old Behnke Nurseries carts! At least it looked like one of ours. So many of you bought our carts when we closed, as did many other garden centers.
While Homestead’s primary focus is and always will be on plants, they do have so many little extras that make them a destination garden center.
Let’s start will the farm and pet area. Aisle after aisle of everything you need for your cats and dogs and chickens, even horses and livestock feed supplies. And right alongside you will find all the wildlife items like bird food and houses.
Walking past the peeping chicks, I was excited to see our much-loved McCutcheon’s Apple Products. Next was a fantastic selection of BBQ Equipment. I picked up my Hot Pepper Relish as I rounded the corner and found a greenhouse full of all the tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetable plants. I started picking the specific pepper plants that we love and grabbed my yellow squash and zucchini plants. (my pepper choices were Cayenne, Better Belle, California Wonder, Big Bertha, Flavorburst, Sweet Banana) Here is a quick article on how to grow peppers.
Houseplants, Annuals, Perennials & More
Walking into their garden center, you will see their new houseplant area right off to the right of the entrance. Everything was clearly marked with signage and prices, and they had some wonderful pots for your plants.
As I walked up and down the aisle, it was hitting home that I had to get my plants from someone other than Behnke’s, and while it was nice to be in such a beautiful garden center, it was a strange feeling. I am happy to say that Homestead Gardens and the other Independent Garden Center’s I have been to are offering the same quality plants for sale and great products like ESPOMA. Soon as I kept walking, and found the woody plant area, pottery, and then the perennial area.
Everything was so lovely and neat, no gravel aisleways like we had, and the plants were all healthy and ready to go home to your garden. Yes, I picked up Rose Marvel Salvia nemorosa, Meadow Sage, perennial salvia that was not on my list. But it was such a beautiful vivid pink color I could not resist. The staff at Homestead was very helpful. Even though I was wandering around, taking my time, many different folks took the time to make sure I was finding what I needed or just smiled (I could tell by their eyes!) and said hello.
A New Location In Delaware
While at the garden center, I learned that this past February, Homestead Gardens purchased another family-owned garden center in Smyrna, Delaware, Ronny’s World. I can’t wait to see this new location for Homestead. I know that they will bring the same values that have made them successful for so many years.
I hope you get a chance to visit Homestead at one of their 3 locations. I know you will be happy you did. And as always, let them know that their friends at Behnke’s said hello!