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Ceanothus

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The Ceanothus, also know as Californian lilac, are honey-bearing shrubs, with a varied appearance, they are loved for their generous blue or light pink flowers. They can reach a height of 4m (13ft), they have dentate green leaves, and compact spike-like flowers. Among the evergreen varieties, special mention goes to  the creeping Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Repens' or the Ceanothus arboreus 'Trewithen Blue' which bears 15cm (6in) long blue flowers in May. As for the deciduous variety, the Ceanothus pallidus 'Marie Simon', reaching a height of one meter, will certainly blow you away with its beautiful pink spiked-flowers from June to September. Native to North America and Mexico, the hardy Ceanothus are planted in light, well-drained soil with little limestone, in sunny positions against a south-facing wall for the evergreen varieties.  Pruning for the evergreen varieties is limited to maintaining a balanced. As for the deciduous species, they should be severely pruned in early April, cutting back to 5cm (2in) from the old wood.  California Lilacs can be used in flower beds, borders and containers, but are particularly stunning as hedges or trained against a wall. The creeping variety, with its fast growth, is ideal for rockeries or ground covering. 

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