Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

For information about listening to Vermont Public Radio, please go here.

Vermont Garden Journal: Growing Veronica

Dave Spindle
In this week's "Vermont Garden Journal," we explore the carefree perennial Veronica, also known as Speedwell.

This common perennial flower is of two minds. One version is tall and tidy with beautiful white, blue or pink flowers. Another is a low growing, native ground cover with blue, rose or white flowers that actually can become a weed. The common name speedwell, literally means to thrive. We mostly know this perennial as Veronica.

Some of the wild Veronicas have used medically for centuries to treat a variety of ills. To add color to the perennial or rock garden, look for newer cultivars that feature large plants with colorful flowers. Tall varieties such as 'Sunny Border Blue', 'Icicle', and 'Royal Candles' are 1 to 2 foot tall plants with flower spikes that butterflies and bees love. 'Crater Lake Blue' is another tall type with saucer-shaped flowers instead of spikes. These pastel colored varieties pair well with mid summer blooming coreopsis, rudbeckia and daylilies. In contrast, the low growing versions of Veronica are found creeping in lawns, gardens and drainage ditches. Breeders have improved some of these wild types to create plants more suited to the perennial garden with bolder flowers for rock gardens and ground covers. 'Waterperry', 'Tidal Pool' and the yellow leafed 'Aztec Gold' all grow less than 6 inches tall with colorful flowers.

Veronicas are carefree. They grow best in full sun and need consistently moist, well-drained soil for good flowering. Prevent taller varieties from flopping with supports and deadhead regularly to stimulate new growth and flowers. Divide every few years to make new plants and keep ground cover types in bounds.

And now for this week's tip, after all the cold, and snow this winter it's time for some garden inspiration. The Vermont Flower Show is happening this weekend at the Champlain Valley Exposition. Not only will you be wowed by the daffodils, tulips and flowering shrubs, the aroma of hyacinths, lilies and fresh mulch will make you realize gardening season is not that far away. Take notes of plant varieties and design ideas to try in your garden this year.

Next week on the Vermont Garden Journal, I'll be talking about honeyberries. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.


Broadcast on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 at 5:57 p.m. and Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 9:35 a.m.

The Vermont Garden Journal with Charlie Nardozzi is made possible by Gardener's Supply, offering environmental solutions for gardens and landscapes. In Burlington, Williston and

Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.
Latest Stories