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Some Special Daylilies: Hemerocallis

baby deer

Are you like me and have deer that come out at night and eat all the buds off of your daylilies before they even bloom? This year has been the worst, but then we did not put up the deer tape as we have done in the past. While this little fawn was not in my yard, but at a park we walk at, I am sure he was nibbling on all sorts of plants. Even so, I did get a few pictures of two daylilies that my grandfather, Albert Behnke, named after my cousin and myself. Plus, one that was named after him.

Albert Behnke was often asked to trial or test grow different plants. Many of them were daylilies from his friend Andre Viette. Sometimes if the plant performed well, he was able to name them. Mine is a beautiful salmon pink color, and my cousin Jeanne’s is a pretty purple with light stripes in the bloom. Then there was the first white daylily, which was named ‘Albert Behnke’, by Andre Viette. In truth, my grandfather really did not care for it all that much since it was more of a creamy white.

When my husband and I used to have a wholesale nursery, he would always make sure we had all three of these to sell. Of course not many other retailers cared that they were named after us, but many of you, our customers, seemed excited each year when we offered them for sale. As with many things, we closed our wholesale nursery, and a few years back stopped producing them. He did plant them all around in different places in our yard, which I am grateful for. I did give some ‘Stephanie Fleming’ daylilies to my friends, and it is fun when they post photos of the blooms and tell me theirs are blooming. What about you? Did you happen to buy one of these a few years ago?

Stephanie Fleming: Beyond Behnke’s

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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