06 From Behnke Nurseries to The Smithsonian Gardens with Alex Dencker

Episode 6 July 07, 2022 00:47:05
06 From Behnke Nurseries to The Smithsonian Gardens with Alex Dencker
The Beyond Behnke's Gardening Podcast
06 From Behnke Nurseries to The Smithsonian Gardens with Alex Dencker

Hosted By

Stephanie Fleming

Show Notes

In this episode of The Beyond Behnke’s Gardening Podcast, I talked with Alex Dencker about how he got started working at Behnke Nurseries and ended up 35 years later working for the Smithsonian Gardens as one of their horticulturists.

Alex shares a few stories of his relationship with my grandfather, Albert Behnke, and why working at Behnke’s was such a wonderful experience.   From the age of 18 till 25 years later, Alex worked pretty much every position at Behnke’s till he left to work at the Smithsonian.

During our chat, Alex recommended that if you are planning a visit to any of the Smithsonian’s many museums, check out their website first. Each museum has beautiful gardens that are open to everyone to wander around. Working at The National Museum of American History, Alex tries to incorporate what he can to tell the story of America’s history, like the Victory Garden located on the property. Also, using as many Native plants is very important to him.

Here are a few sites and links to check out.

The Smithsonian Gardens https://gardens.si.edu/

Victory Garden at the National Museum of American History https://gardens.si.edu/gardens/victory-garden/


Alex’s favorite book that he recommends everyone to read is, Bringing Nature Home: How you can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants Alex told me that this book, Bringing Nature Home really changed the way he look at gardening fundamentally and more generally how he looks at sustainability.

Two other great reference book recommended by Alex are:

 Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs 

Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses by Michael Dirr


And last Alex likes to go to the Missouri Botanical Garden website when looking up plant information 


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