We asked leading landscape designers for one of their favorite plants to work with. Here's what Jocelyn Chilvers, a designer and garden coach in Colorado, had to say:
One of my favorite landscape plants is Ribes aureum, or golden currant. This woody shrub is native to many areas of the western United States from altitudes of 3,500 to 10,000 feet (USDA Zone 3). It is drought tolerant and adaptable to full sun or filtered shade and most soil types. It is also quite decorative, featuring fragrant yellow flowers in late spring followed by edible purplish fruits in midsummer. The glossy leaves turn red in the fall and remain showy for a long period. The mature size ranges from four to six feet in height and width.
Good companion plants include Arctostaphylos xcoloradensis (Colorado manzanita), Helictotrichon sempevirens (blue oat grass) and Penstemon mexicale 'Red Rocks' (Red Rocks penstemon).