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AIBU to complain about DH's gardening obsessions.

(98 Posts)
Quizzer Mon 01-Jun-20 14:54:12

DH is not a willing gardener, but does more than his fair share as he is more active than me. We have a largeish garden with lovely trees and shrubs. Since the lockdown he has pruned every shrub and tree to within an inch of its life. We now have a garden full of mushroom shaped bushes.
I have tried to suggest hat he is not so ruthless but it doesn't seem to sink in. The garden is going to take years rather than months to recover. Do I just keep quiet and let him get on with it?

AGAA4 Mon 01-Jun-20 15:14:53

It is probably his way of coping with lockdown but it must be frustrating for you Quizzer to see everything pruned so drastically.
Maybe you could tell him due to his hard work the garden looks perfect now and turn his attention to some other job. It sounds as though he needs to keep occupied.

Squiffy Mon 01-Jun-20 15:17:44

I must have his twin! ?? Plants should be in straight rows, same height, standing to attention! I threatened to do some pruning to his body if he persisted ..... His voice is higher pitched these days ??

GrannyLaine Mon 01-Jun-20 16:18:28

I have one of those too! Energy and enthusiasm is plentiful but no aesthetic ability (which he cheerfully admits) Mostly I can keep him reined in, but one weekend when I was away, he absolutely butchered a lovely Garrya Elliptica which was just getting to a perfect size and shape. Why? Because it was hanging over the lawn a bit...... I wept.

Callistemon Mon 01-Jun-20 16:25:56

I'm the pruner which gives DH the heebie jeebies.
However, I only prune at the right time and some didn't get done this year because of the bad weather.

I'm now eyeing up the spring flowering clematis which DH claims to have pruned but not as much as I would.

The one thing that has put me off is that we had no garden waste collection until recently.

Callistemon Mon 01-Jun-20 16:26:45

Ps everything seems to grow back really well if pruned at the right time.

Cabbie21 Mon 01-Jun-20 16:58:08

My DH is the opposite. He lets things get out of hand. I am no gardener and in any case he regards it as his territory. On the rare occasion I do a bit of tidying he lectures me on not touching xxxx, even though they are weeds. Now I do agree that some weeds are pretty eg foxgloves but others are not. I know his health is not what it was but I do think our garden is looking a bit overgrown.

lemongrove Mon 01-Jun-20 17:08:25

Quizzer ? He’s very likely doing pruning when he really shouldn’t, so I hope they will grow back ok !
Is he really bored? Can you find other jobs for him to do, clearing out the shed etc?

Auntieflo Mon 01-Jun-20 17:38:40

Foxgloves! Weeds?? Surely not, we have had a few self seeders in the garden this year and left me rejoicing.
DH is definitely not a gardener (thank heavens), although I am glad of a helping hand when needed.

Davida1968 Mon 01-Jun-20 17:45:07

I love foxgloves!! (They are brilliant for the bees.) I take any that are offered to be planted in our garden.
In response to the original post, yes my DH can be a bit of a "demon pruner" too, but I've had to concede that quite often he's done no (lasting!) harm, because the shrub/tree/hedge has responded well, albeit the following year.

Bossyrossy Mon 01-Jun-20 17:46:49

Pruning hard on some shrubs can be disastrous as some do not regenerate if cut back to bare wood. Always best to check first.

FlexibleFriend Mon 01-Jun-20 17:48:52

Well I've been taking advantage of lockdown by getting my son and dil to carry out quite heavy pruning in my garden. I don't know when they'll be available to do it once life goes back to normal and so far everything is recovering rather well. In theory it's my job to guide and direct but honestly I'm happy with giving them pretty much free rein. Nothing has been pruned this heavily in the 20 years we've lived here and I think i will do the plants good. It's certainly allowing me to find spaces for new plants so once they are established the garden will look a bit different but on the whole it will be better, things left to their own devices tend to get too leggy and dead branches hang on when they shouldn't. We've also taken the opportunity to replace the trellis on top of the fence in places and entire fence panels where necessary. We're nearly finished now so have timed it well with lockdown coming to an end just the Ivy covering an old tree stump to get under control and remove from the trellis before it pulls it down. Thankfully green bin collection restarted enabling us to get rid of it all along with a few bonfires in the incinerator to get rid of the rest. I think your husband is doing you a favour tbh. As someone else suggested maybe get him to start on the shed, I must admit we got side tracked by the pond air pump packing up and no sooner was that replaced the pond circulation pump stopped working and took quite a bit of effort to locate the buried wiring which something had chewed through but sadly even when rewired decided not to work so had to buy another pump and fit that, luckily the filter still seems to working or that might have tipped me over the edge.

Beechnut Mon 01-Jun-20 17:56:42

GrannyLaine I do exactly the same as your DH to my Garrya (I did it last week) and then I find that when the catkins come the bush is usually dripping with them. My DH would be cross about the excessive trimming so I would do it when he was at work. ?

Grandad1943 Mon 01-Jun-20 18:02:45

We have a very large garden that is looked after in the main by a gardener who is known to us as "me tree man". However, we love to potter about out there ourselves when we have the time, so me tree man always leaves a number of jobs for us to do.

One of those jobs this spring was to prune back a shrub that is one of my wife's garden favourites and blooms about now in beautiful yellow flowers for many weeks.

So, I set about pruning it back hard as directed by me tree man much to the great concern of my wife who stood close by at that time trying to overseeing the whole operation.

It got to the stage where I was back to the offshoots near the main branches with my other half becoming ever more worried that I was "doing in her favourite garden plant". She then threatened that if I bent over again to cut off any more off, she would do severe damage to my rear end with the trowel she had in her hand.

Anyway, carefully protecting that rear end and with great explanation as to what I was doing, I overcome her objections and pruned the final few offshoots.

With feeding and watering It has now come on in leaps and bounds and this weekend has begun flowering and my wife is now in agreement with me that it looks lovely.

So, to the OP I would say that good communication is most definitely the secret of peaceful joint gardening, and certainly in my case, personal safety. ?

GrannyLaine Mon 01-Jun-20 19:02:20

No Beechnut he did it just as the catkins were appearing & left it the ugliest shape you can imagine....... sad

Beechnut Mon 01-Jun-20 19:24:00

Oh dear GrannyLaine that was a bad thing he did. This mine a few years ago.

agnurse Mon 01-Jun-20 19:50:46

PSA: with foxgloves you have to be extremely careful if you have pets or visiting small children. Foxglove contains digitalis, which can affect the heart, and it's very dangerous if eaten.

GrannyLaine Mon 01-Jun-20 21:41:19

That's a beautiful one Beechnut envy
I rest my case

Callistemon Tue 02-Jun-20 09:50:18

I wonder if that shrub is the same as the one my MIL gave me many years ago, Grandad, which got severely pruned each year but came back again and flowered right through until Christmas some years.

Sadly, it died last winter, possibly due to the extreme wet and our tree man removed it.

I usually hack the fuschias right down in March but failed to do it this year. I'm sure they flower better if pruned.

Callistemon Tue 02-Jun-20 09:51:31

Our yellow flowering shrub was Hypericum I think. Big saucer shaped yellow flowers.

inishowen Tue 02-Jun-20 10:00:42

Believe me, I can relate. Our neighbour has cut all the foliage off our adjoining fence. Now when we are in the garden we are in full view. They like to chat but I just want to potter in my garden and be left alone. I now check to see if they're out before I go outside.

BillBaird Tue 02-Jun-20 10:02:34

He can help me redesign our back garden providing he is good behind a wheel barrow!

Youcantchoosethem Tue 02-Jun-20 10:05:56

Just wondering @quizzer if he is ex military? Mine has a fondness for everything being in order and is quite OCD at times! Thankfully he leaves most of the garden otherwise to me. Hope they recover well.

jaylucy Tue 02-Jun-20 10:06:19

I can remember returning from work one Saturday to find that my brother in law that I thought was a gardener, who had offered to prune some of my shrubs for me had been over and gone over the lot with a hedge trimmer so they were all at the level of just below the fence height! My garden was surrounded by what looked like a hedge!
Any flowers there had been had also been cut off and my beautiful Garrya Elliptica that I had spent a lot of money on as an 18 inch , nurtured for several years and had been my mother's favourite was no longer there! It had been uprooted and burnt on a bonfire, along with the other clippings as well as a garden bench that I had taken 3 days to paint the week before (ok so one of the slats in the seat had slit but it could still be used with a cushion) I was devastated!
In his own garden, everything is in rigid precision. He'd hate my garden now it has grown back to the lovely blowsy shaped shrubs !

Nannan2 Tue 02-Jun-20 10:06:40

Cabbie21, im with you- ive 2 sons both at home 21& 17 who could manage a bit hàcking down the grass& weeds,(ive osteoarthritis) but do they?No! Our back garden now looks like a flipping jungle!