One of the prime Northwest native flowering shrubs that’s in bloom right now is red-flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum. It’s a good shrub for the garden, as well as being found at woodland edges in the wild. It has a wide range in the Northwest and is a good early food source for hummingbirds.
In this Bainbridge Island garden, red-flowering currants have been planted in several areas around the edge, including in this mixed border. Some native plant gardening enthusiasts are sticklers for only growing natives while others, like this gardener, believe that its OK to mix and match. The currant will stay in bloom for two or three weeks in the spring, and flowers will be followed by rather tasteless blue-black berries mid-summer. The attractive foliage will become a backdrop for other plants that bloom later, like the ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum planted at its base.