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I'm almost in tears

(23 Posts)
Alexa Mon 03-Aug-20 15:24:06

my adult son has trimmed my trailing prunus which has been such a beautiful shape trailing its lon g branches on the grass.
I am so sad and annoyed because literally a few days ago I had sid to him how pretty it was .

His ex partner has complained to me of him doing the very same thing.
Will the prunus have time this summer for its branches to grow back again? Should I mention my annoyance to my son who takes offence? This is by no means the first time he has pruned the wrong thing, after I asked him not to.

EllanVannin Mon 03-Aug-20 15:35:38

Oh gosh no, don't show your annoyance. Just state that you hadn't expected it to be decimated. Don't ask him to do any more pruning. It will grow back.

Alexa Mon 03-Aug-20 15:54:45

thanks EllanVannin, but since I posted I rang him and told him how annoyed I am. He has done this before several times and I asked him not to do it again. He literally cannot tell the difference between one plant and another and he thinks all plants need to have their branches shortened.

He said sorry and in future will not cut anything unless I ask him to.

Septimia Mon 03-Aug-20 15:57:46

We bought a grapevine which was just starting to grow up the side of the garage. I was on bedrest at the time and DH at work. My uncle came to visit and offered to do some gardening - and pruned the grapevine within an inch of its life.

Fortunately it recovered and grew really well the next and subsequent years. Hopefully your prunus will gain a new lease of life and grow to be even prettier - but possibly not this year.

Juliet27 Mon 03-Aug-20 16:06:35

I've just had a row with my husband who cut back far too many branches of a conifer. I then caught him pushing them far down into the bin to make it look as though far fewer had been cut.

DiscoDancer1975 Mon 03-Aug-20 16:11:24

How did you get to the point of you asking him not to trim your plants? Does he have a particular interest in gardening, and offered to do it? Your plants will grow back I’m sure, but I think you need to have words with your son. He has no business doing anything on your property, unless you’ve specifically asked him too. I think sometimes our grown up children behave as if our home is theirs. My daughter usually comes in and goes straight for the fridge! I hope your garden soon returns to its former glory.

Alexa Mon 03-Aug-20 16:19:06

DiscoDancer1975, because he likes to help me and most other people too he likes to help but he cannnot be trusted with secateurs or shears. I know this and I knew he had the tools to cut overgrown ivy, but I was so tired |I had to lie down and I took the risk of not watching him.

Sussexborn Mon 03-Aug-20 16:24:05

My OH goes a bit nutty once he get the secateurs or tree loppers in his hands. Makes things look raw and jagged but keeps him busy for a day or two. I was quite shocked the first time he did it but resigned to it now!

Blinko Mon 03-Aug-20 16:26:37

My OH prunes things because he likes to see the bin full! He has no idea about plants. He has chopped branches from my fishbone cotoneaster... Grr! Is it a man thing?

Beechnut Mon 03-Aug-20 16:52:02

No it isn’t Blinko, I’m like it too. My son in law calls me hack and slash.

cornergran Mon 03-Aug-20 16:55:31

It will grow back in time Alexa, plants are very forgiving. Maybe lock up the shears and secateurs unless you can watch every move your son makes, Mr C could be his twin, we've had many a dispute over it.

Millie22 Mon 03-Aug-20 17:05:36

I think once they get a pair of shears they get carried away. My DH cut down a plant I'd been growing for 3 years last Autumn and I was so upset. It has come back this year though and is looking ok just a lot smaller.

Callistemon Mon 03-Aug-20 17:10:40

I'm a demon pruner too.
I identify as female.

MerylStreep Mon 03-Aug-20 17:25:53

I have to prune surreptitiously 😀 as the OH just doesn't understand the theory of pruning.
I upset my Son on law dreadfully one year when my daughter asked me to do something with a huge, very old neglected climbing rose as it never did anything
He changed his tune the next year when it did do something 😉

SueDonim Mon 03-Aug-20 18:00:32

I hope your plant flourishes next year, Alexa. Maybe write a memo to self to not to let son loose with secateurs!

The husband of a friend was helping her garden one day. He had recently been diagnosed with dementia but was functioning pretty well at that point. She asked him to cut back the clematis that was taking over the fence between their house and next door and she then popped out to the local shop for some bits.

When she got back, he’d not only cut back the clematis and everything else on their side of the fence but had ventured into next door’s garden and pruned everything there, as well! shockblushgrin

Luckily, they were very understanding and in fact it grew back well, despite its short back and sides.

Oopsminty Mon 03-Aug-20 18:04:15

Feeling your pain, Alexa

I've still not forgiven my husband for a pruning disaster about 25 years ago

He totally decimated my wisteria.

I see secateurs in his hand now and I have to follow him round the garden

MerylStreep Mon 03-Aug-20 18:09:22

Oopsminty A wisteria 😱 That's a hanging offence 😥

Bubbe Mon 03-Aug-20 18:12:18

I'm also a demon pruner.
And I also identify as female.

Last garden was far larger and the drastic cut-backs less noticeable.
Can't say the same for now!

Baggs Mon 03-Aug-20 18:15:06

Another time, tie a ribbon, a big one, on the plant you want him to prune. Tell him he's only allowed to prune plants you've so labelled and NOTHING else.

Worth a try?

V3ra Mon 03-Aug-20 18:17:55

I have a theory my husband doesn't like a plant to be taller than him.

One year I asked him to prop up the support for a beautiful climbing rose that was just about to flower.
I went out and came back to the ominous sound of the garden shredder... My lovely rose was a few stumps eight inches high and a huge pile of branches on the patio.

This year I caught him eyeing something up and shouted, "Don't even think about it!" at him.

The guilty look on his face said it all 🤣

Alexa Wed 05-Aug-20 11:37:33

I have just noticed he has also cut two overhanging branches off my crab apple, he has pruned the philadelphus, the berberis I keep for autumn colour, and even the summer jasmine in full flower, and which I have invited him to enjoy the smell of.

I am sorry, folks, to make a song and dance about it but I never go out and my garden is important to me, it's my own way to express my idea of what is beautiful and he has rubbished what I feel about it. I know he meant no harm, but if I wanted a goat to eat my garden I'd get a goat.

quizqueen Wed 05-Aug-20 11:46:07

People who can't be trusted in gardens need to be supervised at all times. especially if they have previously form!

Witzend Wed 05-Aug-20 18:22:36

Poor you! Can you hide the shears/secateurs etc.when he visits?
We had to do this when FiL came to visit. Gardening to him meant pulling things up or cutting them down. He once raked our lawn so viciously we had to get it re turfed the following spring. (Just as well it’s small.)

He once cut down a pear tree my poor Mil really loved when she was away for a few days. I don’t think she really ever forgave him for that.