Gardens ‘n Plants Podcast: Episode 13

Lavender from Blooming Hill Lavender Farm

Today on the Gardens ‘n Plants podcast, Teri and I talked about our personal gardens and how gardeners may be seeing pests in their gardens. We discussed the importance of knowing the good bugs from the bad bugs and their various stages (egg, larvae, adult stage). Here is a link to books on identifying pest and diseases in the garden. My favorite book is Jessica Walliser’s Good Bug/Bad Bug. You can always contact extension agents and master gardeners to help with pests and disease issues. Maryland has a good website called Home and Garden Information Center and Virginia has several places to contact, here is a link to more information.

Teri visited gardens at Little Washington in Virginia and I visited the National Colonial Farm, which is part of the Accokeek Foundation at Piscataway Park. This track of land is opposite Mt. Vernon, on the Maryland side of the Potomac River. I just went to the Kitchen gardens, which are enclosed and behind a typical colonial home (really a one room log cabin). Because of COVID-19 there is no staff to maintain the colonial kitchen garden but I liked the wildness of it, much like a secret garden that time forgot. It was very interesting to see 8 feet tall teasel, 6 feet tall pokeweed, and 4 feet tall catmint. Lots of wildflowers, monarda, butterflies, and Japanese beetles. It was a rare opportunity to see plants allowed to flower and set seed and stay like that without being pulled out. There was a kale type plant that was a 3 feet tall fountain of seed heads.

National Colonial Farm

I also visited Cyndie and Peter Rinek’s Blooming Hill Lavender Farm and Gift Shop in Purceville, VA. Cyndie is a member of the Potomac Unit of the Herb Society of America. She has about 100 different types of lavender and about 1,000 plants. The lavender is set up like a display garden with name tags so you can see how they are doing but she is also letting visitors pick the lavender flowers for a small fee. Under normal circumstances she hosts garden clubs and gives teas, presents lectures and workshops, and has an annual lavender festival. Currently people can visit and pick lavender plus she sells lavender products and plants. When I visited, she was selling a pre-packaged bag of scones and shortbread made with lavender, lavender tea, and lavender ice cream. I could have bought everything in the gift shop but settled on three lavender plants best suited for culinary use: Imperial Gem, Melissa, and New Zealand Blue.

Teri and I also mentioned upcoming events for the week in the DC metro area on the Gardens ‘n Plants podcast. See the Monthly Events tab on for the latest gardening events, both virtual and in person. We ended by announcing that starting today, Gardens ‘n Plants will be broadcast every week. As professional garden communicators we are excited about sharing what is happening in the DC metro area, including Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs. Visit our websites for more detailed information at and We are very active on social media, you can find me at pegplant and Teri at cottageinthecourt. Gardens ‘n Plants is available on 9 platforms: Apple podcast, Anchor, Spotify, Breaker, Google Podcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Overcast, and Stitcher. We also have an e-mail box at

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