Veronica spicata ‘Heidekind’
Spiked Speedwell, Speedwell
A charming little plant that asks for very little and yet rewards hugely when flowering season arrives each and every year. Veronica Spicata ‘Heidekind’ (Speedwell), a mat-forming, herbaceous perennial, has simple, grey-green leaves and produces a profusion of flowers in late spring through to mid-summer.
The spiky flower stems emerge from a base of foliage and attain a height of 30 to 40cm, with each stem carrying masses of small, star-shaped, raspberry-pink flowers. The flowers are shown off to perfection by the background of grey-green foliage and the clumps can spread to almost a metre in diameter. The stems of flowers last well in water and can be picked for the vase. The flower spikes should be cut back to ground level immediately after they have finished flowering.
Veronica Spicata ‘Heidekind’ is a typical English country garden plant for cottage style landscapes where a myriad of pretty little flowers are the order of the day. It is ideal for mixed herbaceous borders, rock gardens and general flower beds. It grows best in full sun and prefers rich, loamy, well-drained soils. It is cold and frost hardy, preferring cooler temperate climates to warm subtropical conditions.
The plants die back in late autumn or early winter and emerge with a flush of new growth in spring, long before the first flowers appear. During the winter mulching with a protective layer of compost or well-decomposed animal manure will help ensure vigorous new growth in spring, followed later by an abundance of flowers.
Article by Gerald Schofield