Even with us still seemingly stuck in winter, the yard is poised for Spring. The Pieris just burst into bloom. This shade-loving shrub sports clusters of tiny flowers that resemble those of the Lily of the Valley. In fact, that’s its nickname—Lily of the Valley shrub.
Pieris is hardy in zones 5-9 and can thrive in dry conditions and Georgia’s unforgiving red clay soil. Last year I planted seven of these evergreen beauties under the canopy of the Crabapple tree in my front yard. The soil in that shady spot is rock-hard and crisscrossed with tree roots. Everything I’d planted there before, such as hosta, impatiens and coleus, either died or was eaten by the deer.
Amazingly, the delicate pink blooms tell me the Pieris shrubs actually like living in the shadow of the Crabapple. I’m glad I didn’t give up—sometimes it just takes a while to find the right plant for a bad location.