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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
mackthepony · 07/09/2022 18:13

I'm with you on the wild garden look, op. And it is better for birds, insects etc

His version just looks blah

Georgyporky · 07/09/2022 18:14

Teddletime · 07/09/2022 17:50

I agree that your husband has made a good job of the pruning. I enjoy gardening and I am impressed by his work. They will grow much better next year because of his efforts
advice online for pruning now -

Begin by finding long, newly grown shoots which have been extending since late spring. You can shorten those, now. Follow each long stem back towards its base.
When you've found where the long stem joins the plant, count up to six or seven leaves along that stem. Sever the stem just above the sixth or seventh. You will be shortening that stump a little more, next January.
But if you prefer to do your pruning in one go, cut the stump a little shorter, leaving four or five leaves now.
Flower clusters will develop on each stump for next spring's show.

When my huge garden became overgrown due to my illness, I employed professional gardeners (who were also friends) to sort it out.
The pruning & shaping was done with a chain-saw. As they said, pros don't have time to faff around as the books recommend.
Everything was fine, & all the better for a good trim.

queenMab99 · 07/09/2022 18:16

Actually, they look OK, I make the mistake of letting shrubs get too big, and then they look really bad when cut back. Those will be healthier and be back to original size by next summer. Some bushes do well cut back to 2ft at this time of year.

DorchaAndLouis · 07/09/2022 18:16

Good time to prune them, they're likely to grow a bit over the next few months and look more natural.

TheGander · 07/09/2022 18:17

I asked DH to prune my fig tree as it was way overgrown, and I couldn’t t get a gardener to commit to do the job. The tree was bossing the whole back garden, had knocked out a fence panel and made it impossible to open the bedroom window. DH took the whole tree down. I’ve made my peace with it.

artishard · 07/09/2022 18:17

Are you all mental? It looked organic and beautiful before. Now it's grim and depressing.

Jan6755 · 07/09/2022 18:17

I know nothing but gardening but I much prefer the before look! I would be gutted to come home to the after look.

Why am I suddenly thinking of that dreadful bob my gran cut for me when I was 14......

CaptainMyCaptain · 07/09/2022 18:19

I would be annoyed too but they will grow back again. My husband pulled out all my perennials because they'd 'finished'.

Frasa · 07/09/2022 18:19

I don’t think it looks better. I agree with you it was ‘softer’ looking before . This is all besides the point though. It’s the lack of discussion when previously he has been happy to leave all gardening to you. I wouldn’t understand the thought process and I would be upset too.

Jan6755 · 07/09/2022 18:19

I had another look.... the plant isn't as bad as the bob was, it was everyone saying "very neat", that's what everyone said then too. There were no other words that could describe it without being rude!

ToppCat · 07/09/2022 18:20

I'd be annoyed about the loss of berries, shelter and privacy.

Youaremysunshine14 · 07/09/2022 18:21

I think it's an improvement and you should be thanking him. They look more dense and less spindly and they should grow out nicely now.

ancientgran · 07/09/2022 18:25

Itsokay2020 · 07/09/2022 17:47

Yes, agreed, it looks neater, but that wasn’t the look that I was trying to achieve! Against harsh lines of the building/fence, the shrubs softened the look of that corner and I don’t feel
it was necessary to cut them back, so much, right now.

But I think the main issue is the lack of discussion, literally nothing. We clearly need to work on communication 😔

It's his garden as well and maybe it is the look he was trying to achieve.

HotWashCycle · 07/09/2022 18:26

I can't bear it when people go out and hack things down without knowing or caring what they are doing, and in particular why they are doing it or what they are setting out to achieve. I agree with you OP - I would have been absolutely livid at the lack of discussion and doing it too early in the season, which is just ignorant and damaging. Not knowing what the plants are, but they will probably grow back OK if a different shape from what you had in mind. Tell him never to do that again.

JudgeJ · 07/09/2022 18:27

Itsokay2020 · 07/09/2022 17:43

@TheJudgment I’m glad you think he’s done a good job! I’ll never agree that the wall or fence is more attractive than the shrubs when they’re flourishing 😔

Most shrubs near to be kept under control or they can grow wild.

LadyVictoriaSponge · 07/09/2022 18:29

I’m with you OP they looked much better before, the natural lines softened the edges of the building, now the shrubs look neat, but dull and square.

StrikeandRobin · 07/09/2022 18:30

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

I’m with you op. I’m the gardener in this family, I’ve spent hours planning and developing our lovely garden, all with the birds and bees in mind. DH decided to ‘help’ by trimming some shrubs. He hacked them ALL into a short, square box shape. No natural forms anywhere. That was 3 years ago, there are various shrubs that really haven’t even started to grow out yet. He insists square is ‘neat’. Nature isn’t neat! Some shrubs flower on old wood & it will be a couple of years yet before I get the height back on some shrubs.
You have my sympathy.

Delabruche · 07/09/2022 18:31

I don[t know whether pruning is better or worse for the plants but I agree with you that your version looks much better.

Ariela · 07/09/2022 18:31

I'm thinking that rather than looking leggy next year, this pruning will make them bushier and fuller next year.

Bubblebubblebah · 07/09/2022 18:32

You shoul see willows when they get cut back in here at the autumn😂

I also like bit wilder look, but he really didn't do anything terrible.

Nanny0gg · 07/09/2022 18:36

It all depends on whether the flowers grow on old or new shoots as to when you prune.

I can't tell - what are they OP?

Leftbutcameback · 07/09/2022 18:36

mackthepony · 07/09/2022 18:13

I'm with you on the wild garden look, op. And it is better for birds, insects etc

His version just looks blah

Yep, completely agree. My garden looks scruffy in parts but pikes of leaves and logs are great for the insects and hedgehogs, and I leave seed heads and berries for the birds all winter. Neat and tidy is for garages, not gardens.


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PollyPeePants · 07/09/2022 18:38

Agree with many other PPs - it looks neater
Plus it will grow back!

Emotionalsupportviper · 07/09/2022 18:39

My DH did this once - I actually wept, I was so upset and disappointed.

It took me a very long time to get used to it - I burst into tears everytime I looked at the state of it. It's two years later and the cover is coming back, but it broke my heart.

Thinkingblonde · 07/09/2022 18:39

The fist pic shows the one on the left in flower, is it a Hebe? I’ve got one with dark green glossy leaves, it’s full of purple flower spikes. I’d be annoyed if my dh cut it back until after it finished flowering.

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