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Meet Miri Talabac

***April 2021 Update on What Miri Talabac is doing now: Miri is working with the University of Maryland Extension as a consultant.  The University of Maryland Extension has been working on updating their website for a while now. Here is the link to check it out. Miri mentioned that she is working  in The “Yard and Garden” and “Pests”  areas HGIC (Home and Garden Info Ctr)  letting consultants answer more questions faster than they would over the phone. This way, too, pictures can be sent, which makes diagnoses way easier than just on the phone. If you do have any questions, here’s the main question-submission form.  Miri mentioned that she is really enjoying her work with them. Whenever someone writes a question to me about outdoor trees and shrubs, I email Miri, and she gives me all the information I need for me to respond back.

Behnke’s Shrub and Tree Buyer Miri Talabac hasn’t worked at Behnkes as long as many of our staff have, though she started with us just as early – in high school.  Yes, she grew up not far from our Beltsville location. She started working here in 1997, and since then has worked in annuals and perennials before moving to “woodies” as a buyer.    And she’s done that while earning a degree in biology at the University of Maryland, with a concentration in entomology (bugs – she’s a big fan of ’em).

Besides bugs and woody plants, she’s recently become enamored of native plants, but the central theme here is her love of being outdoors.  So, call her a “nature nut” and she won’t complain.  But a girl’s gotta go indoors sometime, right?  That’s when she brings out the Origami, cross-stitching, and all manner of crafts.   Miri’s outdoorsy and crafty too.

Watch for Miri’s articles here and on our website, and stop her any time for questions about shrubs and trees – she loves answering them!

Stephanie Fleming

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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  1. Thank you for recommending so many native plants!!!! I wish more locally grown were available…perennials as well as shrubs and trees. There are a few native nurseries around…Chesapeake Natives, Nature by Design, Blue Water Baltimore, Sylva…and North Creek and Sun have some. If you still grow your own, it would be wonderful to be able to purchase them from you.

  2. I came upon your blog while looking up a flower that my daughter saw in the DC / MD area. It looks like a single pink /red single peony bloom on about a 4 ft. high shrub filled with flowers. I can’t think what it would be. Would you know what shrub would be blooming that nicely in that area?
    Thanks, Sarah

  3. Your article on crepe myrtles you recommend planting an INVASIVE, barberry, at the base of the shrub!

    1. Steven,

      I did mention Barberry, yes, in that article that was written over two years ago. Nowadays, whether or not I would have even mentioned Barberry as a companion plant, I would have pointed out that we only stock varieties known to set few, if any, seeds. There are also more choices in well-behaved barberry varieties than there were even two years ago. As an alternative to the Barberry mentioned (for foliage color), you can use: Bush-Honeysuckle (note that this, Diervilla, is not one of the invasive true honeysuckles but instead a native relative) as there are cultivars with colorful summer and autumn foliage; various perennial Heuchera with foliage colors in an array of choices; Ninebark (also native and available with multiple forms with summer foliage color); Weigela; Loropetalum; and plenty of other shrubs and perennials with leaf colors other than the featured reds and purples of Barberry.

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