Pieris: Good Looking All Year Round!
'Valley Valentine' is a particularly beautiful variety of pieris which holds the Royal Horticultural Society's prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in recognition of its outstanding excellence. As an evergreen, it looks good all year round but it is at its best in spring when it produces large panicles of dusky red flowers. It's foliage is a deep green and has a really shiny look which stands out in sunshine. A very hardy shrub that can withstand wind and cold temperatures you do need to provide protection from sharp spring frosts. It prefers to be grown in acid soil. In gardens where the soil is not acidic, it is best to add Westland ericaceous compost .
Personally, I think this variety of Pieris is great grown in a large container, using ericaceous compost. It will look terrific all year round, but especially at this time of year when it is beginning to flower. Long racemes of flamingo red lily of the valley type flowers adorn this plant. 'Valley Valentine' is wonderful planted with witch hazels and evergreen azaleas and hydrangeas.
Shade loving: All Pieris can tolerate shade quite well, and 'Valley Valentine' is no exception to this.
Some of my other favourite Pieris:
Pieris 'Forest Flame': New growth is brilliant scarlet red, often mixed with lighter shell pink leaves. I think the new foliage growth which appears after the white flowers, is as attractive as the flowers. This one is a cross between the japonica and forrestii types. Grows up to 6 to 8 feet.
Pieris 'Japonica': Lily-of-the-valley shrub. By far the most common one. Cascading white flowers are followed by pink to bronze new growth. Ultimate growth can be up to ten feet, unless pruned.
Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire': Brilliant red new foliage growth, turns dark green with maturity. Drooping clusters of showy white spring flowers. Grows up to 6 feet tall.
Pieris japonica 'Variegata': This one is best known for the attractive leaves that are green with white margins. Drooping flower clusters are white. Ultimate growth is about 5 fee