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Did Someone Say Hellebores?

First I heard her excited voice saying, “LOOK! They have Hellebores!” My head turned so fast to see where she was–then I saw them! A customer had a cart full and was heading toward the cashier.  You know you have been out sick from work too long if you miss the arrival of the beautiful Hellebores.  We have a wonderful selection and Constance, our Perennials buyer, assured me she has more coming in this week!  Full, lush and blooming, these easy perennials are one of my favorites.

My grandfather, Albert Behnke first introduced them to me back in the early 80’s during a late Winter walk at his home in Burtonsville. He with his cane, me with his dog, walking and chatting, when he suddenly stopped and with his cane pushed away some fallen leaves and said, “Look Stephy, our Lenten Rose is blooming! Spring is just around the corner.”

That was the beginning of my love of these unique plants.  I still hear his excitement in seeing that first bloom and today seeing that customer with her cart full I knew I needed to get home and brush away the leaves in our garden to see if mine are blooming. Then I will show my grandson and tell him, “Spring is just around the corner!”

by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President

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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