Answer: If the base of the plant will be shaded by the yew hedge, most evergreens will naturally go bare at the base due to lack of light. Or if the site is in less than full sun, most evergreens would grow thinner for lack of light. For this reason you might do well to try a deciduous plant instead as you suggested. Ilex verticillata might work, this is a deciduous holly with gorgeous red berries in the winter. Or you might try one of the red twigged doqwood shrubs which also offer an ornamental contrast in winter. Or possibly a Catawba rhododendron if the site is well sheltered from the winter wind. Your local professional nursery staff and/or county extension may have different or additional suggestions based on a more detailed understanding of the growing conditions where you are planting as well as your design goals. Good luck with your planting!
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