Every March I am enchanted with Pieris japonica and then I promptly forget about it as other more intriguing options catch my attention and it fades into the background. I found three varieties worth planting during a hunt for spring at The Farm, and some that had been planted for at least 40 years at an apartment complex.
Deer resistant and happy in shade, Pieris japonica can have ivory, pale yellow or pale or deep pink bell shaped blooms that hang in nodding clusters or fans.
Some varieties have boldly colored new foliage, and still others are variegated. All, when mature, have twisting textured trunks that can add structural interest to older, more mature plants.
image via Mahoney’s
This year I’m going to plant some for both my clients and myself. This evergreen shrub (commonly called Andromeda) is old fashioned and about 50 years ago was overused as an foundation plant, but now there aren’t so many around and the big ‘ole mature ones are super awesome when not much else is happening. They also make a great winter or early spring container plant that can be transplanted into the garden. For cultivation info…click here.