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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
MyMumSaysALot · 07/09/2022 18:39

It’s actually healthier to prune your bushes back once every year or two. They always grow back much fuller. Which is what you want, right?
They look fine — nice, even.

ButteryNuts · 07/09/2022 18:40

I disagree it looks better, looks a bit meh - the flourishing bushes were a lot prettier and I can definitely see the look you were going for

MsRosley · 07/09/2022 18:40

What is it with men and hacking at things back to the bare bones? Do they think they're back in the jungle or something? My dad was the same.

riserved · 07/09/2022 18:42

My husband has destroyed parts of the garden, he's killed off a fabulous, 8ft, climbing rose and various shrubs that were in full flower. I made him sign a contract saying that he wouldn't 'prune' anything without prior discussion.

He still does it when I'm out, he knows nothing about plants. Sympathies OP.

JudgeJ · 07/09/2022 18:43

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.

Exactly! OP's partner is very welcome to come and tackle my garden, it's in dire need of cutting back after I took it right back last year. I actually thought I'd killed some bushes but they've gone mad this year and the sudden rain isn't helping.

Bubblebubblebah · 07/09/2022 18:43

People need to calm down. This is not hack to the bear bones. It's trimmed own, it will survive.

Frankly wild re "tidy" gardens. Everyone uses it, everyone should have a say and some part in it. I mean like you wouldn't just do living room only your style if you were the one mainly cleaning it, you would still style it for everyone to be happy.

AhNowTed · 07/09/2022 18:48

I feel your pain.

DH has just retired (early).

Never so much as cut the grass before.

Now he's apparently a guru in all things garden and home.

Pruned (hacked) shrubs to extinction.

Apparently I know nothing now 😂

I hoping he gets bored of it.

Gymnopedie · 07/09/2022 18:49

I can see what you mean OP. The shrub itself looks much neater and more compact but it's exposed a glaring patch of bare wall - and that's the problem.

It doesn't help now, but maybe the answer is a trellis and something growing up it that sits flatter against the wall, and could actually cover it all without being too big for the garden?

riserved · 07/09/2022 18:52

Strange how they never want to do the boring, regular jobs, just the ones that take their fancy when left to their own devices.

Hyacinth2 · 07/09/2022 18:54

Obviously a lot of non gardeners here who also think they know best.
No it's not the best time to prune shrubs - normally it's after flowering of perhaps late winter / early spring.
DH cut the lower branches off the 30 year old Japanese maple - to make it easier to mow - wouldn't mind but we have a gardener who would happily mow (without whinging about branches).

I hope DH was suitably chastised .

SomethingNastyInTheBallPool · 07/09/2022 18:55

I’m #teamyou, OP. It looked much better before. You have my sympathy - my DP is also of the hacking persuasion. I’m still not over the beautiful tree fern and the pear tree that expired after his enthusiastic attentions.

drumandthebass · 07/09/2022 18:57

Another who pressed YANBU but then saw them after your DH handy work and they do look better now.

Bretonbear · 07/09/2022 19:01

It looks so much better now.

MzHz · 07/09/2022 19:03

The before looked messy, straggly and uncared for. Now the bush will grow back nice and thick and strong.

hes done the right thing.

NamechangeApril21 · 07/09/2022 19:09

Much nicer before

Mycatsgoldtooth · 07/09/2022 19:12

I would cry if my DH had done this. I always wondered about the soulless gardens I see around, now I know they belong to commenters on this thread.

hop321 · 07/09/2022 19:13

Sorry I'm voting YABU. That would be a modest trim for my husband and, while I'm more into the gardening that he is, I think you're perhaps taking the control element too far.

I came home to discover my husband had got the tree surgeons to remove every branch from the bottom ten metres of our beautiful tall Pine trees. The bottom branches won't grow back and I'm looking at oddly butchered trunks and the side of my neighbour's house which you couldn't see before.

I was a bit annoyed but, given its size and permanency, it's in a different league to trimming a shrub that will be better for it next year.

toooldtocarewhoknows · 07/09/2022 19:15

He's done a good job.

Buy some plant feed, give them a good feed and they will grow so much bigger and stronger in the spring. They will probably cover the wall completely.

IAmStupidFace · 07/09/2022 19:18

This. Swallow the anger and gently remind him that while you appreciate the help, you much prefer to do it yourself as you enjoy doing it and his way is not so good. Personally, I'd make light of the situation. They'll grow back.

SwitchedOnMum · 07/09/2022 19:18

They looked really overgrown and uncared for before. I think DP has done a great job. I am sure DP was hoping to surprise you. Don't be too harsh. Seems like you got a good one there.

hop321 · 07/09/2022 19:19

Here's a photo of the deforestation...

I have come home from work…
Clawdy · 07/09/2022 19:20

BreadInCaptivity · 07/09/2022 17:43

Sorry but I think his version looks much neater and better.....



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FantasylandEnthusiast · 07/09/2022 19:21

It looks so much better now.

EarringsandLipstick · 07/09/2022 19:21

He's done a great job.

The bushes were overgrown & needed pruning. Ideally he'd have waited a few more weeks till growing stops properly but it's still good. It's not too stark & you've utterly over-dramatised it.

The space (wall, fence) also looks fine, it's not some awful wasteland you imply, maybe paint fence.

You intimate you know loads about gardening & DP nothing but I disagree. If you didn't prune, you'd have woody, unkempt shrubs & he was totally correct to do it.

I also see no need for him to 'discuss' it with you.

MotherOfCrocodiles · 07/09/2022 19:24

I'm with you op. If you do the garden he shouldn't mess without asking you. Not like you can just put it back.

My MIL did similar once 😮 I was not at all happy

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