Every visitor to my garden this spring has asked me, “What’s that plant?” and I always have to answer, “It’s, um, a weed. A speedwell, I think.” And the reply is always, “Well, it sure is pretty.” It sure is. That’s why I haven’t pulled it. Honest. Actually, it’s done blooming now, but for my own satisfaction I looked it up in Weeds of the Northeast. It’s Veronica chamaedrys, known commonly as germander speedwell or bird’s-eye speedwell, and it’s considered a lawn weed. Well, so are bugleweed and Johnny-jump-ups and violets. I wonder what makes it weedy?
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
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