Finally some blooms!

According to the New York Times, we should have foliage emerging in the Northeast on or about April 16.  But due to the 2018 jet stream bringing us Arctic air with low temperatures in January and February, spring is delayed this year.

We are seeing the colorful crocus blooms here and there (if the bunny hasn’t found them first) but the daffodils and tulips I planted last fall are still showing just green. Buds on woody plants are swelling but no leaves and no flowers yet.

However, we do have one small broadleaf evergreen shrub that is shining with profuse blooms in our shady border nestled beneath the boughs of a crabapple tree.

Pieris japonica

It’s the Pieris japonica or Japanese adromeda. Each morning I walk out to this border, coffee in hand, to admire the sole evergreen shrub in bloom in our landscape. These cascading clusters of white flowers hanging about 6″ long are the first to bloom each spring and will charm us for two to three weeks. The plant is often called ‘lily-of-the-valley shrub’ for the small bell-shaped blooms appear so similar to the small lily of the valley plant.

Japanese

New leaves on the plant will emerge in a lovely bronze shade before maturing green. I often clip a few of these new leaves to add a bit more contrast to flower arrangements… as well as using the attractive older leaves that are dark green and very shiny.

There are a number of variants of the Pieris japonica in with blooms of pink and red but I prefer the white blooms that serve as a light in a shady border. The shrub performs best as an understory plant in shade or in filtered light. Lace bugs can be a problem…. especially if planted in full sun… but I’m thankful they haven’t found my Pieris!

10 thoughts on “Finally some blooms!

      • Yes. It seems like just a few years ago, we grew only a few varieties. The ‘Variegata’ was the most popular, and the only variegated cultivar. I did not like it much. Now, there are more variegated cultivars than all the old cultivars we used to grow.

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  1. We just went on the Williamsburg Garden Club tour which was super wonderful, and this andromeda was used in so many unique ways in the different arrangements, all of which were perfect. It rained all day, so everyone carried and umbrella and paid no attention to weather conditions! We met super folks from all over the country, as usual.

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    • It is fabulous in flower arrangements. I’m glad you had fun on the Williamsburg tour. I know our Garden Club of Gloucester tour was 1st class, too. Such a great week in Virginia each year!

      Liked by 1 person

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