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Baskets Of Annuals Brighten A Bare Shrub

(credit:  Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Yews are one of the few evergreen shrubs that can be pruned back to just about any size and they will regrow new needles again. This spring, we whacked our yews back to a much more manageable size – but then they looked like bare sticks! The regrowth can take many months, even years, and so to decorate our barren yews for the summer, I filled small baskets with annuals.

You could use any lightweight basket – I found some small ones made of seagrass that reminded me of birds’ nests. Online, I read a gardener’s tip to line the baskets with newspaper to keep the soil from leaking out but let the baskets drain. I used potting soil with moisture retaining pellets and planted impatiens.

All summer, the baskets have been blooming with bright colors and now the yews are starting to fill out so there’s also some green. It was just a little emergency fix to distract from our extreme pruning, but everyone who sees them says something nice – those cute little blooming baskets have become the most talked about thing in my garden.