Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pieris-Not Piers of Celebrity Apprentice!

Pieris japonica, aka pieris or 'Lily of the Valley' and sometimes known as 'Andromeda' shrub is a great shrub in my garden. Granted, I have only been growing this one for one year, but I really like it. Note the tulips emerging behind and to the right of the pieris-I am looking forward to these blooming this year.

Pieris is related to azaleas and rhododendrons-not to be confused with the Piers of Celebrity Apprentice; he is quite the character and fun to watch! Like rhododendrons and azaleas, pieris likes moist acid soil, dappled shade and protection from the hot sun and drying winds. I planted this one under a mature Pitch Pine. It has done well over the past year and recently put out its flower tassels, though the flowers have not yet opened. The flower buds are those little white ball shapes attached to the tassel. When they open, they will look like lily of the valley flowers and will be fragrant.

Pieris will bloom for about two months, during which time it will start putting out new growth. New growth is really the reason to plant this shrub. A mature shrub looks more like a kaleidoscope of a mass of different shrubs because new growth is so colorful.

My friend Dianne has the most beautiful pieris in her front yard. I was enamoured when I saw it last spring. Her shrub is about 8 feet tall and wide, and is located in a prominent spot in front of her home near her driveway. It was stunning. The foliage is a shiny evergreen and the new growth displayed colors of reds, maroons, pinks, and all shades of greens all at once.

Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants says pieris is hardy from Zone 4b (with protection) to Zone 7. Perfect for our climate here in Tennessee. It can tolerate some sun, but make sure it is not the hot afternoon sun. This shrub grows slowly and will grow to 4-6' in 5-8 years. (Dirr 1975)

Pieris are very easy to find in stores at this time of year. If you want a hardier shrub to replace azaleas and rhododendrons, you might want to pick one up the next time you are out shopping.

in the garden....


  1. dawn with peachesMarch 11, 2008 at 9:30 AM

    Hi Guys,
    I've never seen or heard about this bush. How wonderful! Must keep my eyes peeled for it, I can't seem to grow azeala, Dies from the inside to the outside over a period of years.

  2. Hello and good day to all.

    Sounds like a very neat plant Tina.

  3. do either of you watch appentice? no comment about piers? that is a good show, though i liked it better when it was not celebrities. love this shrub. bunnies like it too-so watch out if you plant it dawn with peaches. good day to you mom!

  4. Interesting plant, never heard of it... Would be too hot down here and the bunny would eat it. I saw two bunnies in the yard yesterday evening. They pop out at dusk….

    Yes, we have been watching Celebrity Apprentice! We watched it regularly for several seasons then it became nothing more then a commercial for big name brands. So we got bored of it. But we picked it up this season due to the celebrities. Especially Gene Simmons of Kiss fame, Mary Lou Hinner of Taxi fame and Trace Atkins of my Eye Candy fame! LOL... I hope Trace wins it as he is the most honest and sincere person I have ever seen play the game! Glad Omerosa is gone. She never should have been there in the first place! Arggg she is such a horrible person on the show...

  5. I've seen them in stores but I never planted one. They look nice and if they are a good replacement for azaleas and rhododendrons they are definitely worth looking at.

    As for Peirs (sp?) is he the same guy on America's Got Talent? We watch that one but not the apprentice.

  6. Hi All.

    Plant sounds interesting--sad it won't live down here. I would like to have Lily on the Valley but don't think it would make it here either. I'm glad that my Snow Bells are doing good here. They are a delight.

    Good to hear about babies. So glad they will all have a good home.

  7. Tina,

    Another acid loving plant that is beautiful but not gonna be happy in Chez Cedar...

    I don't know the other Piers ...

  8. Nope never watched it. Only news programs here and with tv's in every room they are on 24 hours a day. I did watch some of the first season of Survivor and that was only cause Tom was still working then and I's go in to get him to bed and he would be watching it so I had no choice but to watch it. After we went to bed I had an earphone in one ear to listen to the news and the moniter in my other ear in case he would call me. For 6 years I did that. Then my 6 years with Mary we watched mostly news, cooking and travel channels, PBS or old movies.

  9. skeeter-wasn't that hilarious when piers kissed trace atkins face? eye candy indeed!

    dave-yes-exact same person! he is crude and rude though makes for good entertainment. is he like that on America's got talent?

    lola, it probably won't do well there. just like skeeter said. but it is a nice plant-if you ever see it down there-who knows?

    gail-are you sure it won't do well? your soil is too sweet? is that it? the other piers is a bad, bad dude..

  10. hey mom, was just posting as i saw your comment come up. news is fine, but for me it gets old on the tv continuously. this is why you are so up on current events-just news for you! you might like celebrity apprentice. trump is some character as well as his 'apprentices'.

  11. Tina the news chanels are not all news. They have Larry King, Greta Van Sustren, Hanity and Colmes, Bill O'Reily, Nancy Grace, ect. The Donald is on them all from time to time and I do like him. I have read a couple of his books.
    I do think he was kinda mean to Rosie even I don't really care for her.

  12. dawn with peachesMarch 11, 2008 at 3:36 PM

    Yeh, that's how you knew 'bout the house exploding. I had no clue, heard from the state oil and solid fuel board inspector about it today. Can ya believe it? They have to dot their i's and cross their t's on this stuff.

  13. i know the news channels are not all news, but listening to those folks talk all day is too much for me. i do like their topics but i need more variety.

    i thought the whole thing between the donald and rosie was ridiculous. they were acting like kids and it was totally beneath them both! i am glad it is over (at least i hope it is!)

  14. dawn with peachesMarch 11, 2008 at 4:06 PM

    Did you see the embezzlement story? OMGosh, thats like stealing from your friends......

  15. Yup Dawn I heard it on the news.

    Tina I agree sometimes it is a lotta news and even if I am a news junkie I get tired of it sometimes and will change between the news channels and on Sunday afternoons it really sucks so I usuall listen to CD's then.

    Over for now but it will be back.

    Dawn whcic embezzement storie? Been a couple lately. One of em in Calais! At the school!! People are crazy.

  16. dawn with peachesMarch 11, 2008 at 7:34 PM

    our town office, one person resigned,...... THE PERSON who heard over the scanner I'd broken my leg and came here to sit with the kids, THE PERSON who got the community service award for the year of 06, THE PERSON who is from old blood, roots steeped in this town. $160,000 to $180,000 gone....

  17. dawn with peachesMarch 11, 2008 at 7:36 PM

    And by the way after the story mentioned above made the news tonight, 4 hoodlums got caught attempting to steal a BIG brass boiler from a former nursing home. Who comes up with these ideas? It was bigger than they are.

  18. He seems pretty blunt on AGT but not really that rude. Of course sometimes you see some pretty stupid stuff on that show (AGT)!

  19. Well good grief Dawn. How did I miss that. Oh well, I'll read it in the paper I guess. Get 2 papers a day so otta catch it somewhere.
    People are nuts.

  20. Nuts isn't the word. Something worse. OMG what would anyone do with that kind of $$$$. Never will see that much in my life time.

    Could it be that if these rude, crude & stupid people had a job, whereas they had to work for a living, they wouldn't have time to sit around & thing up such outrageous things.
    What in the world would they do with a boiler? I say hang 'em.

  21. mom and dawn, you all can come up with some stories! there are all kinds of folks, you never know by appearances.

    dave, i have never seen agt but it sounds crazy! to have piers on it, it must be a bit out there but sounds fun. when does it come on and what channel?

    lola, all types of folks around. just no explaining it.

  22. Saw the story on the news just now and they said the boiler weight was between 800 and a 1,000 pounda and they got caught red handed and had ropes and chains on it. Worth about $3,300.00 in scrap metal. The guys (can't call em men) were from outta state. 2 from NH and 1 from MA. Maybe they are the same that took the copper wires from under the ocean floor. No mention of the embezzement story. But I forgot before...we had a girl that worked in the town office also stole money but not from the town office. From the PTA or whatever it is they call it now. She resigned her job just before the grand jury nailed her. Her case has not gone to trial as of yet.

    Lola...Right on!!

  23. dawn with peachesMarch 12, 2008 at 7:45 AM

    Chances aree....the same people, it was on the coast and they had to case the property. Professionals. This time they bit off more than they could chew.
    Irritates me about the town office, we are so broke now. The road to my mother-in-laws is blocked with a hole in the bridge, has been since fall. Everyone has to go around, no money in the near future, lots of traffic picked up by my house including large dump trucks. Was peaceful.

  24. Some people are plan idiots! What a waste of air for them to breath!

    A Woman down here worked for the police department for 10 years and then spent the last 4 years working for the Coroners office as the Assistant coroner. She got caught stealing Gift Cards off a suicide victim on New Years Eve. Dont know how she thought she would get away with that one as 3 people (she is one of the three) have to sign over all the items found on the victim, so she knew 2 other people were aware of the gift cards! Duh... they caught her on camera in the stores cashing them in. She was in line to become the City Coroner when her boss retired. She had 14 years of a career and blew it all for about $500 worth of gift cards…

    We watched the first season of Americas got Talent and that is when we first saw Piers. We dont watch American Idol but by seeing the commercials and all the hoopla on it in Entertainment news, we assume Piers is the AGT version of Simon from Idol...

  25. Oh Tina, about the eye candy. We saw Trace in Atlanta last year and I about came unglued watching him wiggle those hips and sing! The Saint was laughing at me as I screamed with all the other crazy women around me! LOL...

    Yes the kiss was priceless!

  26. mom and dawn with peaches-too much crime no matter where you live and it is sometimes the most seemingly respectable people, i really have to laugh at that.

    skeeter.. yes to the eye candy. i can picture it! he exudes ?? i shall leave it blank due to this IS garden blog and i think folks can use their imagination. good thing the saint is understanding.

  27. Who in the world in Trace & what is eye candy? Hmmmmm. I'm lost.

  28. lola, eye candy is something sweet to look at-easy on the eyes. trace atkins is a country music singer. a real cowboy. he is on the celebrity apprentice. skeeter saw him sing in concert.

  29. OH. OK. Boy do I need to get out more. Maybe I should give the widower a call. hehehe

  30. I vote to make that call Lola. Quick before some one else does it!

    I laughed with fond memories when they said that cause a man I took care of till he passed away used to say "easy on the eyes" and "eye candy" for his eye doctor. That was over 10 years ago and it was the first time I had heard it so this ole dying man was more hip than me.

  31. Lola, I laughed until tears came out of my eyes on that one! Too funny.....

    Remember the excitement as a child to see the big chocolate bunny in the window of the Five & Dime store? Well, that is the look that Trace puts on my face. He has a rough look about him, tall, jean-black tee shirt wearing, long haired, sexy country-boy. One of his current hits if “Ladies love Country boys” I have a thing for cowboy types, Dont know how I ended up with a city fella that is totally opposite of Trace!LOL…

  32. OMG Skeeter, I don't like city kind either. Like to travel--go to mtns-go to mtns. hehe. Got spoiled by late hubby--never saw mtns till I caught him. Me from Tn & never saw mtns. Sad, Sad.
    BTW, this fella drives a Lincoln. Hmmmmm. Maybe he has gas $$$$$.
    Sure would like to see what is blooming in mtns.

  33. Told you Lola - what are you waiting for - GO CALL

  34. you guys are funny. yup, learn something new each day. lola, you only live life once....

  35. A Lincoln, what are you waiting for?
    Get the phone!

  36. funniest thing about these pieris. my friend nancy is having hannah (january's gardener of the month) install about a dozen in her garden. they come in rose too and are ever so fragrant! enjoy nancy! it was nice seeing you, ursula and lola for lunch today! see you guys tuesday morning.

  37. O-M-G Skeeter, I now can see why you were screaming--This guy is a HUNK. Talking about "eye candy", that's not the word. You didn't mention what a looow sexy voice he had.
    Lets see, could find out next concert, get Lincoln on the move. Think it'd work? hehe

  38. Well, Tina, Jean, Skeeter. I took the plunge. I called Lincoln. Husky voice, sense of humor. Worked hard all his life, helped raise 4 kids, 2 & 2. 14 1/2 yrs first--32 yrs.last. Just at loose ends still, trying to fill the days. 32 yrs. with someone in your life is a long time. He said like I did, "Unless you've been down that road no one really knows what it's like". Anyway it sounds like a good cup of coffee.
    Young'un laughing his head off. He started this.

  39. Good for you Lola!!!! You go girl.
    Hope you 2 hit it off and have a great time for many years!

  40. Oh Lola that is great!
    One cannot have too many friends! A coffee friend is a good friend to have....

    Sorry I forgot to mention the low voice. It is quit sexy dont ya think? tee hee... We were at the Evita musical last night and forgot to record Apprentice so we dont know what happened. Hope my eye candy did not get booted… I think it comes on as a repeat but I must find it in the listings...

  41. lola, i'm with skeeter and mom. you can NEVER have too many friends. coffee partners are the best kind and many years to build on the friendship.

  42. Yeh, good friends are hard to find these days. Being a widow puts you in another category, I have already learned that the hard way. I sometimes would like to just go somewhere & have a cup of coffee & maybe a piece of pie & just talk, about anything. But this urge, when it hits, is always at night--I guess that is because it's quiet.

    I listened to some of his music on his bio. That's how I found out about his voice. Loooong hair!!!! Rugged looking. Oh my!! hehe
    I must watch this on TV.

    Who knows maybe Lincoln & I can take in some of the flower shows. He sold veggies for yrs., that's not far from flowers. Anyway he said he'd call me back later.

    My brother & spouse ordered me two roses, I got them today. Now I have to get out there & make a bed for them. They are "Love Struck" & "Black Cherry". From pics they are beautiful. She said in about 3 weeks I would have blooms. I love roses but hard to grow them here as humidity is so high & it causes so many problems. Will have to start saving up my banana peels & egg shells for the roses. Hope it's nice weather tomorrow.

    Nighty Nite all. Hope you all have a restful & peaceful night.

  43. you are too funny lola!

    two roses? my aunt, who also lives in florida LOVES roses. i was digging mine out and giving them to her. she says they do well. i bet yours will too. the names sound good enough to eat. i have heard to plant a whole banana in the hole with the rose. it gives it a boost of potassium-just like with us. we have always saved eggshells. another good source for potassium. just throw them in a paper bag and they dry out with no odor whatsoever. i love mine. in fact, i have like a whole paper bag full i need to crush and sprinkle. try it! any how, hope YOU had a restful night.