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California Lilac


My absolute favorite flowering shrub is most definitely the Ceanothus - AKA California Lilac. While most nurseries only carry two or three varieties, there are a TON of them out there. Ever since my husband and I planted one in our first backyard together, and watched it quickly grow, bloom gorgeously in spring, and endure the global warming affecting us as summers get hotter in the Northwest, it became an essential. On the farm, I planted eight of them to surround the front of our enclosed vegetable garden, and when I walked into the backyard while househunting up here in the Emerald City? I saw a huge ceanothus, clearly ignored and overshadowed by weed trees on the neighbor's fenceline, and knew it was a good omen...and that it would ultimately become a centerpiece of our backyard flower garden.


Google Lens claims this one is a Hearst's Ceanothus, but I'll leave it to the fates. For a few Before & After's of this particular shrub, I'll show you the listing photo (where I've pointed out where it was hiding) versus what this section of the backyard looks like today, as well as a closeup of where the shrub was a few months into living here, before the landlord nextdoor clearcut everything in their yard, and how it looks today with more light and the new fence I built.


I've since planted five more California lilacs - another in the backyard (not shown) and four different varieties in the front yard, along with multiple groundcover versions ("Point Reyes") to help with erosion control in both the back and front yards. Could I plant more? Of course. Will I? Only time will tell!










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