Ceanothus x impressus ‘Dark Star’ – This RHS Award of Garden Merit winner features honey-scented dark blue flowers that emerge from burgundy buds. These are contrasted by small deep green leaves that are deeply veined. This evergreen shrub is deer resistant and drought tolerant once established, but requires good soil drainage. Grows 4-6′ high by 6-8′ wide. Zone 7.
Ceanothus x pallidus ‘Marie Simon’ – An old French hybrid from the early 19th century which bears billowy pink flowers in summer, with a repeat bloom in fall. It is a deciduous shrub in coastal BC with ovate mid-green leaves. The flowers are followed by red seed capsules and the bare winter stems are an attractive red colour. Grows 5-6′ high and wide. Hardy to zone 6.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Victoria’ – This California Lilac bears mid blue flowers from May to June over evergreen foliage composed of small rounded leaves. It responds well to shearing and makes a nice informal flowering hedge where hardy. In its natural form it has a slightly arching branching habit. Attracts both butterflies and bees. Grows 5-8′ high by 4-6′ wide. Hardy to zone 7.
Ceanothus x pallidus MARIE BLEU (syn. ‘Minmari’) -Commonly known as New Jersey Tea (the leaves were used as a tea substitute during the Civil War), this deciduous shrub bears soft purplish-blue flowers on contrasting red stems in late spring, with a secondary summer bloom. These are followed by red seed heads. Grows 2-3′ high and wide. Hardy to zone 6.
Exochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’ – Another RHS Award of Garden Merit winner that is an Exochorda racemosa x E. korolkowii hybrid. Pearl Bush gets its name from the round white flower buds held on arching stems (like a necklace) which open to five-petaled blooms starting in late spring. It is deciduous with yellow autumn tones. Grows 3-4′ high and wide. Zone 5.