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Spring has sprung, and as natures epic seasonal symphony plays out in our gardens and parks, there are lovely little blue clouds of flower appearing everywhere. They belong to a free-flowering, evergreen shrub, which beckons in the spring with a flourish of sapphires, navy blues and azures. Ceanothus, or Californian Lilac, is a real star performer of this time of year, whether that is as a large specimen shrub, a wall shrub to be used in place of a climber, or smaller mound forming shrub. They all smother themselves in wonderful, insect friendly clusters of slightly scented blue flower.

In the right position they are very easy to grow, needing little maintenance or pruning. Preferring a sunny, sheltered spot away from harsh winds, they will flourish with minimal care. That means a south facing wall, with the natural protection of a London garden is perfect to get the best out of them. The smaller varieties make good container plants too, so no matter the size of your garden or outside space, you can bring a little Californian sunshine into it.


Common Name: Californian Lilac

Botanical Name: Ceanothus

Flowering Time: Mid Spring to Early Summer (some Autumn flowering varieties too)

Height and Spread: 1-6m x 1-6m dependant on variety

Aspect: Full Sun

Hardiness: Hardy (can be damaged by cold winds in exposed positions)