Ceanothus is a fast growing, evergreen shrub with stunning blue flowers in late spring and early summer.
Ceanothus looks fantastic when in full bloom, a beautiful blue cloud. The most common varieties have blue flowers in late spring and summer, although there are also white and pink blooming varieties. As Ceanothus is easy to grow, I tag it green wheel barrow, as it requires little or no maintenance.
The most important point when growing Ceanothus is to plant it in the right place at the start, which is a sheltered spot in full sun, away from chilly winds. Ceanothus originates from North America, particularly California. For this reason, it is also known as the 'California Lilac', which accounts for its dislike of cold, exposed gardens. Ceanothus is mainly H4 hardy defined as hardy in most of the UK from -10 to -5.
This means that Ceanothus is best planted in a sheltered spot in fully sun on well-drained soil, essentially mimicking the originating conditions. In exposed gardens consider growing the more hardy 'Autumnal Blue', which as the name suggests, flowers in the late summer and early autumn, illustrated below, or one of the deciduous types.
When Ceanothus is grown in a cold spot susceptible to cold winds or chill, the leaves can suffer from wind burn, which will cause them to turn discoloured, brown and the shrub will cannot thrive. It's tricky to get going, but once established, Ceanothus is usually trouble free. Ceanothus is attractive to bees.