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Jack Frost Is Coming Soon

Bouquet of Zinnias
Bouquet of Zinnia
Who else has been cutting their flowers to bring inside before Jack Frost arrives? I know we have. Well, my husband has. Each day, I get more and more of our beautiful dahlias, which I enjoy on my kitchen counter. There are still so many buds yet to open, but I fear time is running out.


The other morning, when I was at my mother’s home, I saw that her husband, Joe, had been doing the same thing. He still has some Zinnias left that make such fantastic long-lasting arrangements. He puts them in one of Mom’s antique amethyst vases and places it on their kitchen table. The result is impressive. The photo below I took as the sun was shining on them. Stunning was all I could think.


I am so grateful that Mom’s husband, Joe, loves to do these simple things for mom. Something that she used to do all the time. Creating big bouquets of mixed flowers was always her thing. Maybe she got it from her father, Albert Behnke, who loved to bring my grandmother, Rose, fresh flowers each morning.


I think one of the saddest things about Alzheimer’s is the fading of not just memories but of things that bring joy to the person’s life. Things like going out in the garden to cut an armful of beauty. Mom does not seem to have any reaction to these flowers anymore, but I hope maybe, somewhere deep down, she is enjoying them.

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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