- Author: Brenda Altman
What's the buzz? It's the Ceanothus Café smorgasbord! Bees around my house were happy to see the Ceanothus Café open this spring with quite an abundance of yummy blue lilac flowers. Ceanothus are colorful evergreen California native shrubs. They are drought hardy and can grow almost anywhere. Besides being bee-friendly they are also deer-friendly. Consult your neighborhood nursery if you want to plant this and have deer present.
Here is theCeanothus Café open every day is the spring.
I have two ceanothus species in my front yard a 'Ray Hartman' tree like shrub, and this one pictured above. The bees were visiting this one 10 hours a day. Bees have vision in the blue and ultraviolet part of the color spectrum. Blue and purple colors are especially attractive to bees. At the height of spring there were a dozen bees humming around the plant. The lumbering bumble bees were the easiest to spot. I saw a solid black one and a couple of yellow and black ones daily. Honeybees also zoomed in and out. And still smaller, sweat bees were present. If you want bees in your garden this is the one plant to get.
There are several species of Ceanothus, some are bushy and grow 1' – 2' high and 6' around. Others are bushier and can grow up to 4' high and 6' around. The 'Ray Hartman' species can be pruned to be a small tree. The flowers come in various colors from dark purple, to pale blue some even with pink flowers. Leaves, besides being dark green can also be pale green, or variegated. With the various colors available you can pick the plants that will bring that special color and texture to your yard.
Now that Spring has sprung and done where will the bees go? The (Spanish) lavender lunchroom is now open! Remember the bees are attracted to deep purple color. To attract bees, plant a variety of plants that will bloom throughout the year. Another bee friendly plant is yarrow another California native.
Lavender and yellow euphorbia-more food for the Buzz Crowd!