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I have come home from work…

285 replies

Itsokay2020 · 07/09/2022 17:34

To find that my ‘D’P has hacked away at two shrubs in our garden and it looks awful, beyond awful.

I do the majority of gardening and five years ago our new build garden was a completely blank canvas apart from a lawn and patio area. Since then I have planted trees, shrubs, plants and created a garden space that I am proud of, and a space we are complimented on. My phone camera roll is full of photos of the garden evolving over the past five years.

Today I receive a text to say that ‘D’P has hoovered, done some ironing and done some pruning, followed by a 😁 emoji.

He’s actually hacked away at two shrubs, which would have provided berries and shelter for the birds in winter, and reduced their size by a least 50%. They used to cover the plain wall of our carport, provided screening and allowed some privacy from our neighbours (and vice versa). No discussion took place, nothing.

AIBU to be so angry, to feel as upset as I do? Of course, they’ll hopefully grow back next spring. But they didn’t need to be reduced in size, I maintained them well and they looked really good! Now they are ugly, shapeless, and I simply don’t understand what possessed him!

AIBU? Any advice?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1768 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Itsokay2020 · 07/09/2022 17:58

@Pumpkintopf I have no idea, it will undoubtedly remain a mystery!

@Teddletime thank you - useful info

@GreyGreyGreyEverywhere yes, because I consider us a team and respect his views and opinions too - after all he lives here too!

OP posts:
butterflied · 07/09/2022 17:58

They look great. Unless you discuss everything you do in the garden with him you're unreasonable to expect that he would have discussed this with you.

KweenieBeanz · 07/09/2022 17:58

Why is your way the 'right' way OP it's his garden too. I agree with PP, they looked straggly and overgrown and he hasn't hacked them he's just brought them back into shape. As others have said they'll soon grow in spring, you do have to trim stuff back it grows loads every year. You made it sound like he'd left little more than a stump and it was 'amazing' before, in the before pictures it looks like they were significantly encroaching on the patio space?!

butterflied · 07/09/2022 18:00


DrDetriment · 07/09/2022 18:01

He's done a great job. Is it not his garden too or is it just your house and you pay all the bills? Only then would you have the right for him to have to check with you before doing anything in the garden.

Itsokay2020 · 07/09/2022 18:02

@KweenieBeanz ironically the patio doesn’t extend that far, but I would like it to as it’s the perfect space for catching the evening sun! DP wasn’t keen - preferred the shrubs!

Perhaps the prune will change his mind

OP posts:
lancaster · 07/09/2022 18:02

I'm 100% with you. Looked much better before, very characterless now.

Caroffee · 07/09/2022 18:03


Lots of non-gardeners posting on this thread.

KirstenBlest · 07/09/2022 18:05

You should have posted in Gardening

Bubblebubblebah · 07/09/2022 18:05

Things do need pruning and cutting back once in a while. He could have left it bit longer and wiat couple of weeks, but it will come back nice and strong. Good time to do it tbh I am readying myself for some of mine in few weeks time so they are "healed" before frost comes.

LovelyDaaling · 07/09/2022 18:06

What are the shrubs please?

BewareTheBeardedDragon · 07/09/2022 18:06

I agree that they looked better before, but it is the right time of year to prune a lot of plants, and it can be the right thing to do for a better display next year.
I agree that discussion should have happened, particularly if you are the garden visionaire.
Just to point out that the quoted advice about pruning is very specific and pruning needs differ from plant to plant so best to check for the actual shrubs you have before hacking away.
They do look neat now, and it could be worse. I hate pruning my buddleia, because it always looks awful afterwards, but it has to be done or it'd grow to the moon. For eg. Flowers

Choconut · 07/09/2022 18:06

They needed trimming or you'd end up with a bush even more straggly than it was already going - you want those stems to branch out, but he's obviously cut it back more than was strictly necessary to do that. He's done it quite neatly though, doesn't look hacked at, ugly or shapeless - well not from the photo anyway.

teaandtoastwithmarmite · 07/09/2022 18:06

Sorry but I also think it looks neater

Bestcatmum · 07/09/2022 18:07

I'd have shredded him and used him as fertiliser.

TheChippendenSpook · 07/09/2022 18:07

I also think it looks better now.

Itsokay2020 · 07/09/2022 18:08

@Bestcatmum don’t tempt me! 🤣

OP posts:
Quitelikeacatslife · 07/09/2022 18:09

I love to garden and don't like a neat garden but the shrubs are well pruned and did need it, they were looking straggly and when they now get to that height they will be healthier.
Can you put some trellis and fast growing clematis on that wall for more cover?

Purrpurrpurr · 07/09/2022 18:10

I think his style of gardening is 'neater' than yours and he hasn't cut the shrubs down in a destructive way. They will soon be wild and wooly again! Perhaps you could encourage his interest in gardening by having a chat about ways to prune the shrubs that keep the screening effect you prefer. If people don't garden much they really don't know things that might seem obvious to you.

ilovesushi · 07/09/2022 18:11

This is exactly what my DS does. I do the majority of gardening including buying all the plants, compost, manure, pots etc, but occasionally he'll go mad with the saw or shears. Never does any useful weeding or cut down anything rogue. Usually attacks things at the wrong time of year in full flower that should only have a light trim at the best of times. Gutted at the start of lockdown when he decimated all the lovely cascading plants coming down the wall, so we could see the wall. I didn't want to see the wall! They've still not grown back.

ilovesushi · 07/09/2022 18:11

Not DS, DH! Wish DS would do some gardening!

Happyher · 07/09/2022 18:11

They look much better, shrubs benefit from pruning, they’ll grow back. Maybe DP likes pruning bushes. I find it very therapeutic


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Itsokay2020 · 07/09/2022 18:12

A lot of comments about how is looks neat, but why is this more desirable?

I accept, fully, that they would have needed pruning before too long, but I am just not ready to do that when the current temp is 21°c, the skies are blue and both shrubs could have waited another four weeks at least, I would have kept a little more height and I would have imitated a discussion about it first. I also would have refreshed my memory on what they are and looked carefully at the care guidance for each of them. I can guarantee he wouldn’t have done that!

OP posts:
mackthepony · 07/09/2022 18:13


It looked way better before

Spanielsarepainless · 07/09/2022 18:13

Mine hacked down a four foot lacecap hydrangea to a six inch stick. Annoyingly it grew back vigorously.

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