Sunday, August 28, 2016

Change of MInd

I changed my mind. Because I can.

Example of 'Valley Valentine' in bloom in early spring
Instead of the rooted anemone cutting in the open space where the baptisia had been, I decided I'd rather substitute an andromeda.

Andromeda, anemone, keep them straight.

I got a nice sized end of season container of Pieris japonica 'Valley Valentine' at Moscarillo's.

This variety of pieris gets 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide, exactly the size of the area where the baptisia had been.

It's an evergreen shrub, and it will take the half-shade, half-sun north side of the house.

Flowers are jewel pink and profuse
The rooted anemone cutting I had just planted there had the advantage of being free -- I dug it up from the pink 'Robustissima' plant already by the patio wall. It would also fill the space, and take the half-shade conditions. The flowers are tall and airy and quite pretty.

But the anemone is a perennial, and is cut to the ground each year, and I already have a pretty specimen by the patio. I really wanted something different, and more substantial and something to look at in winter in this spot.

I had a small 'Valley Valentine' pieris a couple years ago, but it did not do well. I had it on the east side of the house, but it baked there. The east side gets reflection off the house siding and full sun for more than six hours before the house starts to shade the area. I think that was too much bright sun for this plant.

So that little one wound up in the cooler, shadier patio garden at my sister's condo, where it is doing much better, although still quite small.

Now I want to try it again, in what I hope is a more favorable location.

Pieris is a slow grower, but it will eventually fill that open area

The anemone cutting will now go in another spot in the garden where I need to fill an open space and where it will be okay if it is cut to the ground in winter.

I do have a few concerns. Pieris can be subject to mites and phytophthora, although 'Valley Valentine' is supposed to be disease resistant. I've had phytophthora on the other side of the patio (my lovely Japanese maple succumbed), and of course the reason I have an open spot to fill here is that the baptisia got such a case of spider mites.

Leaves are a little yellow from being in a pot all summer,
but they will green up after some time in the soil.

Am I going to have those issues with 'Valley Valentine'? Right now I think that this pieris is the perfect size, structure, flowery interest and evergreen look for the open area I want to fill, but I'll change my mind (again) if mites or other problems show up.


  1. What a nice addition.i need to udeire evergreens in my own garden so the winter view isn't so blah. On a brighter note, we have a baby bunny that has adopted my front garden bed and he mows down my hosta leaves three at a time. He's so tiny he'd fit in a cereal bowl, so I'll overlook it for a while! Have you any more bobcat sightings?

    1. No recent bobcat sightings, but the coyote spent the afternoon next door eating fallen crabapples. Some are fermented, and he gets a little tipsy acting!