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The Walpole Purple Martin House – #bornatbehnkes

cleaning bird house

Months ago, when we first announced that we were closing the nursery, so many started writing and sending photos of their yards that the hashtag #bornatbehnkes was born. A customer wrote and mentioned her daughter told her that she has so many memories in her yard, all that were #bornatbehnkes! So in keeping with that theme, I wanted to share with you something I finally got to my home and got up. The Walpole Purple Martin House.

There were many inquires about purchasing this beautiful birdhouse that we had in our gardens for many years, but I really did want it. Sorry to all of you that also wanted it, so I thought I would share some photos of it going up.

My husband kinda rolled his eyes when I mentioned a few months ago that I was bringing this home. I think he was hoping I would forget, but then my father in law saw it and agreed with me that it needed to come to our home. A little background. We built our home next door to my in-law’s house, which was next door to my father in laws parents.

His dad was a master carpenter, and he loved to build different things. One thing he had behind the house was a Purple Martin House that I recall when I first started dating my husband. I am not really sure whatever happened to it, but I feel the time was right to put another one up.

With many thanks to Larry Bristow who drove it to my home, we got busy and scrubbed it down and then came the job of deciding just where it was going to go. Whew! That was a job in its self, but finally, we found a spot where I could see it from my driveway, my kitchen window and the dining room. Of course, Monday evening was not so hot out, and my wonderful husband decided we should start digging. WE? Umm not sure how I got to be including with that we but down we went.

Stephanie Bird House
Jon Bird House

First, of course, we needed the proper tools. A post hole digger and some sort of long pipe that he would use to break up the dirt. The RED CLAY, I mean. We also needed a level and a tape measure. Oh, and he said it needed to be in 40 inches. We kept digging, or instead, he kept poking that thing in there, and my job was to use this post hold digger to scoop out the clay. That worked till we got about 24 inches down. Then not so much. By this time, my father in law, walked down to add some much-needed help.

Finally, we were ready to put the post in the hole. Somehow put that massive post with the house on the top into a 6inch hold. Yup, up up it went while I had to help sort of guide it into the hole. Well, it got stuck. Hole too small. Back down went this cumbersome post and more digging and conversations about just how to do this went on. Now it was time to try again and success! It went right in.

Purple Martin Bird House

Every-time I look out my window now I am reminded of Behnke’s. I would love it if you got something you loved from us this past Spring or even a tree or shrub if you share it with us at #bornatbehnkes.

Behnke Nurseries, VP

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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