You get two mouth wateringly attractive features with Ceanothus ‘Blue Sapphire’ - masses of intensely deep blue flowers in late spring and evergreen foliage the colour of chocolate for year round appeal. This is a bushy shrub, low growing with arching stems, which means it’s superb to grow on a bank as well as in the shrub border. Those long stems also make it a great plant to espalier against a sunny wall or to grow in a big container.
The needs of this shrub are pretty simple, mainly lots of sun and well drained soil. It will take it dry, doesn’t mind windy situations, is cold tolerant and gets along just fine when planted in poor soils.
When mass planted it makes an arresting sight and is also a most effective means of making the garden low maintenance, for once established weeds don’t have a chance to grow through the dense foliage cover. A moderate habit of growth means it doesn’t get out of hand, so you don’t have to be out there every year cutting and trimming to keep it looking good.
There are some great plants to combine with Ceanothus ‘Blue Sapphire’. On sunny slopes, try mingling it with Leucospermums such as ‘Champagne’ and ‘Harry Chittick’ and the all summer flowering new hybrid Gazania ‘Sunset Jane.’ It looks good with white flowers too, such as Cistus ‘Bennet’s White’ and white flowered marguerite daisies such as ‘Summer Melody’, or with low growing white roses such as ‘Flower Carpet White’.
Make a blue border with Ceanothus ‘Blue Sapphire’, using such plants as annual honeywort, Cerinthe major, blue aquilegias, lavenders, perennial salvias, Lithodora ‘Grace Ward’ and, towards the rear, Dichroa ‘Blue Sapphires’, an evergreen hydrangea relative which flowers from spring to autumn.
Silver and blue work well too. You can plant Ceanothus ‘Blue Sapphire’ among ground covering Stachys byzantina (lambs ears) or as a foreground to Astelia ‘Silver Spears’ or the slimmer foliaged Astelia banksii.
The options are many with such a handsome and versatile plant.