Six months ago, I was invited to open my gardens as part of Historic Weeds Week in Virginia. Imagine my surprise and delight. I have been quietly, patiently cultivating weeds for many years but never thought that my clover and crabgrass would equal the great weeds flourishing in the fields and gardens of the finest estates across the Old Dominion. Frankly, I was humbled by the invitation, which came from a Mrs. Dan D. Lyon of Somerset, Va.

Now this very special time has begun, and even as I write this, a few people in galoshes and yellow slickers are wending their way across my yard. Yes, it is a raw and rainy day, just the kind one hopes for during Historic Weeds Week.

I have spent untold hours doing nothing to prepare: no tilling, no trimming, no pruning, no plucking. It took enormous restraint, but whenever I was tempted to gather up a handful of wild onion, henbit, and speedwell and fling everything over the back fence, I pulled out the gracious and complimentary letter from Mrs Lyon and read it yet again. Like this fine lady, I’m in it for the long game.

Ah, now there is a real crowd gathering, and I will have to sign off and go greet my guests. As much as I cherish weeds, I have to say I didn’t realize so many shared my passion.

My eyes are tearing up as I see affectionate couples marveling over the broadleaf plantain, ancient individuals exclaiming over the bittercress, apple-cheeked children stealing the dandelions, even a few merry teenagers peering down a groundhog hole.

They are all smiling and chatting, and now the teenagers and old folks have started a just-for-fun mud fight, and the rain has slacked off and the cardinals are singing and there is nothing quite so beautiful as a garden full of weeds and the people who love them.

buttercups