Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring! Here are some blue Ceanothus flowers for you

Happy Spring!  

Here are some beautiful blue California Lilac flowers for you and a busy bee.  Their latin name is Ceanothus. 

These drought tolerant shrubs grow from 2 feet high to 20 feet high depending on the species.  The one in my garden is about 6 feet tall with a 6 foot canopy.  Ceanothus is native to southern California coastal ranges to southwestern Oregon.  

See?  You CAN have an English garden without the rain.  Your drought tolerant garden can still be filled with flowers and color.  And no, it doesn't mean only succulents and cacti (although I have a soft spot for a cute succulent plant).  They make great substitutes for more water-demanding shrubs.  Mine started as a 4" pot. I watered it about every month for the first year.  The second year it got water whenever I remembered, or it was over 100 degress.  Now that it is established it lives on rainfall, and is very happy.

Many are endangered too.  You can find links to western native plant nurseries on theGardenPages Links page....

It is impossible to capture the deep blue color with my camera.  And they smell light and flowery, not like true lilacs though.  

The flowers on these shrubs are great for bees and beneficial insects because the flowers are so small.  Many beneficial insects are tiny so they don't like to get swallowed up in a giant flower.  Anyone growing vegetables that are pollinated by bees should think about growing a ceanothus to attract bees.

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