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New in 2014: HGTV and their Chosen Local Grower come to Behnkes!

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Now this ought be fun – the much-touted HGTV HOME Plant Selections are coming to Behnkes, and only to Behnkes in the Maryland suburbs of Washington.  In just its second season, the HGTV program is taking off, and local gardeners were happy to learn that that only independent garden centers will sell these plants.  Can’t get ’em at the Big Box stores!

I learned all this at the recent Spring Fair at our Beltsville location, where I met the local growers chosen by HGTV to provide garden centers in the region with their plants.  They’re Mike and September Dalton of Walnut Springs Nursery in nearly Howard County, shown center and left in the photo above, with Sarah Hayes, marketing manager for the HGTV Plant Collection.  Turns out the folks at Walnut Springs Nursery are old friends of the Behnke family.

Local growers like Mike and September aren’t just filling orders, though. It’s their experiences growing prospective plants for the Collections in nearby Howard County that decides which ones will be sold around here. It’s the growers’ choice because they know best, including which plants are unhappy here in the Humidity Belt.

If you check out the HGTV Plant website you’ll notice on the “Know How” page  the wisdom of Maria Zampini, a Penn State-trained expert who grew up in the horticultural biz.  She updates that page weekly with her plant care and design tips. Inspirations will have have gorgeous  photos to give us ideas and gotta-have-it motivation.

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The Annuals Collection here on the website and it looks great!  But which of all those plants have the folks at Walnut Springs Nursery chosen for us?  I’m told (by the Beltsville annuals manager Marian Parsley) that they’ll be delivering “a nice assortment of their best-looking plants at the time of each scheduled delivery to our Beltsville store.”  In the meantime, I’m preparing my pots and waiting for the temperatures to rise and stay risen. (Assuming we actually have a spring and summer this year. The snow yesterday – on March 30! (2014) seems to have sapped everyone’s patience.)

Posted by Susan Harris.

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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