I live in Howard County, MD and have a mostly shady area in which I would like to plant a perennial shrub that would eventually grow to 4-6 feet high and wide, grow fairly quickly and flower if possible. The area currently has grass and some bare spots, but the soil probably isn't great, tending toward rocky and mostly clay. Can you recommend some options that might work in this regard? Thanks in advance.
Howard County Maryland
You have some nice options for this area.
While mid-height varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas are tried and true, consider the native alternatives of Oakleaf Hydrangea or Virginia Sweetspire (Itea).
Other possibilities include Pieris Japonica, Hypericum Prolificum, and Kerria.