Courtesy of Tanya Kucak
Masses of blue ceanothus flowers denote springtime in California. Though planting a variety of ceanothus cultivars can extend the bloom time, the peak bloom time will still be spring. The seasonality of these shrubs makes them special.
When you envision an authentic Japanese landscape design, do you think of (a) moss, bamboo and Japanese maples, or (b) local California native plants? If the garden is located in California, the correct answer can be (b).
“In Japanese gardens, 98 to 100 percent of the plants are native,” said Leslie Buck, an aesthetic pruner who wrote about her mid-career gardening apprenticeship in Japan in the book “Cutting Back” (Timber Press, 2017). Japanese gardeners, who are “masters of native landscaping,” she said, advise: “Don’t copy our nature; use your own.”