Colorful addition for the entrance

Tom Terry
Master gardener
Nandina branches in decorative container

Many of us have a decorative container at the entrance to our home. I have one that my wife gave me at Christmas about 15 years ago. This summer it has featured a geranium with salmon colored blooms. In a few days that will be replaced by a chrysanthemum and after Thanksgiving with some sort of Christmas decoration.

Come January, the container will feature colorful Nandina branches as shown in the picture above. I don’t just stick the branches into the pot. I use a gallon milk or tea container to hold them. Begin by cutting off the top of the handle and then punch holes in the top third of the jug. After it is filled with water, insert limbs from Nandina bushes to form the plant. Fortunately, I have a number of plants scattered throughout the landscape and can be judicious with my selection so as not to deform the plant when selecting a branch.

Once the new faux Nandina shrub has been completed, it can be placed into the decorative container. I have to use bricks underneath to elevate the jug to the proper height. My experience with this has been that if I check the water level every few weeks, it will stay fresh until spring when it can be replaced with another geranium plant.