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Shrubs

CALIFORNIA LILAC - Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Victoria'

Ceanothus is a wonderful shrub for the summer garden. As the name eludes, ceanothus is native to California and the Pacific Coast, however it is not a true lilac.

Named for Victoria on Vancouver Island, this variety is the hardiest of the ceanothus family and in my mind, the prettiest. In early June buds are ready to burst into a nearly true blue haze of blooms backed up by deep, deep green glossy small leaves.

Ceanothus is fast growing, evergreen, deer resistant and drought tolerant so it is a welcome addition to many gardens. It can be added to the garden as a single shrub or it can be used as a hedge either formally clipped or left natural for a loose cottage garden look. Ceanothus grow quickly to 6 or 7 foot tall and wide so give yours plenty of space. After blooming they can be sheared by one third to keep the overall size smaller.

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Spectacular Rhododendrons

A rhododendron in full bloom is a spectacular sight! From delicate soft white, creamy yellow and baby pink to shocking pink, glowing orange, blood red, and deep dark purple they are all magnificent in bloom. And while the flowers are spectacular the foliage on some is also noteworthy and a tribute to the plant year-round.

True red Rhododendron 'Grace Seabrook' sports handsome deep dark green foliage, delicate white R.'Snow Lady' has delightful hairy leaves and R. ponticum 'Variegatum' has showy variegated foliage. Also, sometimes the buds are showy and such is the case with R. 'Taurus', the deep red buds show themselves off all winter long.

Positioning your newly planted Rhododendrons is important. The height varies greatly from the dwarf varieties that stay between 1-2 feet tall and the extremely large varieties that grow up to (and sometimes over) 10 feet.

I search out the very large, very small and very unusual (and very cool!) rhododendrons on the cold wet days of winter but I also know that most gardeners will be looking for varieties growing between 3 and 6 feet in height so we always have a large selection of those.

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Summer Blooming Shrubs

Like most gardeners, as the seasons go, my interest moves from the delicate winter bloomers, to the bulbs that herald early spring, to the joyful promise of planting annuals and so on, and so on. As each season passes I forget how I loved the very first blooms of the plant I am now deadheading and I long for the first blooms of the plants of the next season.

I watch in wonder as the first flush of roses come and now I busy myself cutting roses for bouquets indoors so my flowers continue to form and please me. Oh, we are the fickle ones aren't we, but I simply can't help it; I love my garden, the structure of it, the striking foliage combinations, the fragrances, but most of all I love the blooms. Now that summer is here the blooms are no longer delicate little bursts of colour amazing us on cool and frosty mornings but rather magnificently voluptuous blossoms that awe us with their heady beauty.

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