Our Story

Stephanie Fleming PhotoFor almost 90 years, the Behnke Family served the DC metro area by providing plants and advice for gardeners. Behnke Nurseries was established by a young German nurseryman who came to the United States in hopes that his background in horticulture would lead to prosperity for his family. His name was Albert Behnke. For nearly nine decades, the Behnke Family grew some of the finest plants in the area, and the retail nursery became a landmark within the gardening community. Behnke Nurseries impacted many families that it is hard to go anywhere in the Maryland DC area without finding someone who either worked or shopped there over the years. Many families have memories of their trips to Behnke Nurseries that bring them joy.  

One of the hardest things about the nursery closing in 2019 was losing the daily interactions with our employees and customers. One of our consumers recounted in an email, "It was just like losing an old friend. The kind of friend you could depend on to be there when you needed a pick-me-up. It was a place like no other." While it was clear that the physical property of Behnke Nurseries needed to close, there was still energy in both the community and among the family to find a way to keep our engagement with our customers going.  

One of those family members was Stephanie Fleming, granddaughter of founders Albert and Rose Behnke. She was working at the nursery when it closed, and she continued to keep the weekly newsletter going. Stephanie wanted to use the platform to provide information to the customers to find other locally-owned garden centers. Her daughter suggested that she call the continued effort to keep the communication going, Beyond Behnke's. About a year after the nursery closed, Stephanie's son pointed out all of the countless pieces of information on the website. He suggested we keep the Behnke name alive by rebuilding the business as an online community?

After much thought and discussion about why we would want to keep the website going, the new Beyond Behnke's platform was born. We hope that our site will inspire you in your gardening journey and nurture a sense of community among plant lovers of all ages.