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Rose Gardens

Albert Behnke’s Roses

There is something about roses in the garden that brings a smile. I grew up always knowing that when I went to visit my grandparents, Albert and Rose Behnke, that there were going to be flowers in the house. But once the first rose started to bloom, their house would always be filled with roses.

It has been said that this or that was my grandfather’s favorite flower. Each of us that knew him would have a flower that we were certain was his favorite. But truth be told I believe he loved them all. Roses of course were one of his most favorite!

His rose garden in Burtonsville, Maryland was a sight to behold. Anytime you came to visit them or look around the garden you could be assured that you would be going home with a beautiful bouquet of roses that only he would be allowed to cut. Such care went into his roses. It was truly a labor of love.

From early spring till late fall, the roses were a passion. It took me many years once he passed away to look at roses without feeling sad that my grandfather would not be there to give me an armful. Now my own husband has a rose garden in our back yard and brings them to me each morning.

By 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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