Through The Seasons: Red-Flowering Currant, Ribes sanguineum

The red-flowering currant, a Northwest-native plant and hummingbird favorite with the Latin name of Ribes sanguineum, not sure of the particular variety but could likely be the commonly sold ‘King Edward VII’, through the seasons at Minerva’s Garden in photos:

Ribes sanguineum, Red-Flowering Currant, in my garden blooming in April, along with hyacinth and narcisus

After the flowers on the red-flowering currant are done, the leaves on the shrub turn green, and it looks pretty unremarkable for the summer.  But this is what happens in the fall:

Red-flowering currant foliage, end of November

Pretty remarkable change, making it a great plant selection for the garden, because it gives two wonderful seasons of interest, and doesn’t require any special watering or fertilizing once it is established. 

 Hope you had a great Thanksgiving–we had company over and had a great time.  Still eating leftovers, which actually I like.  It was sunny today, but we just went through two weeks straight of rain.  Welcome to the Pacific Northwest.  I’ve left the autumn decor up in the house, and will probably switch it out next weekend for the winter holidays.
Leave a comment–what’s new in your garden?

Northwest Native Shrubs Blooming Now!

I have a few different sorts of Northwest native deciduous shrubs that are currently in bloom.  These would include Indian Plum, or Oemleria cerasiformis; Red Elderberry, Sambucus racemosa; and Red-Flowering Currant, or Ribes sanguineum.  Tall Oregon Grape, Mahonia aquifolium, has been blooming for quite a while now.

I like all of these plants for several reasons.  They are native to this area, and thus require no fertilizers and, once established, need no water other than rainfall.  They produce spring flowers and their leaves in the fall are outstanding.  They, except for the Oregon Grape, will reach around 12-15 feet tall, and thus make a good natural shrub screen to hide ugly views.  Finally, they produce flowers and fruits that the birds love–they will attract hummingbirds in the spring, and other birds in the fall when the Indian Plum produces fruit (non-edible for humans, though.)  And, the shrubs, when they are in bloom, can also be paired with spring-blooming bulbs that flower around the same time, such as narcissus and hyacinth.

Here is a picture of one of my Red-Flowering Currants:

(Ignore the giant dandelion in the corner there, or think of it as an insect feeder, which it is.)  The Red-Flowering Currant lights up this spot in the garden, and notice how it is nicely set off by the evergreen arborvitae next to it–the solid dark green helps to show off the pink flowers.    The nice thing about planting spring bulbs around these northwest native shrubs is that both of them benefit from having a dry summer, so they prosper under the same growing conditions–this helps to make them good partners, plus they bloom at the same time.

Leave a comment, if you will, and let me know how you use Northwest Native plants in your landscape.