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Overgrown Shrub Border

Recently taken on this garden where the previous gardener has allowed the shrubs to become far too big. The mahonia, red robin and budleja are all things i'm very comfortable sorting over the course of this year and early next year. My one slight hesitation is what I believe to be a viburnum mariesii, the shrub on the far left. It seems to have lost its layered shape and is clearly in need of a prune, but a little unsure of the best way forward with it. Just trim it up and neaten it like most any regular shrub, or something else? Any suggestions as to what might be the best course of acton for it? Thanks

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  • 12669762253?profile=RESIZE_930x

    • none of that looks very overgrown to me yes I would just snip a few bits off the viburnum to shape it up as required, Looks like they couldn't reach the bits of shrubs at the back but hard to tell if that's from next door

  • It will tolerate hard regenerative pruning, as you probably know it should have defined layers of foliage .

    Now is the time to prune it as it has just finished flowering, I've never seen one that size it has been planted correctly at the front of the border and  optimum height in my opinion is 1.5 mts.

    I would tackle it by firstly reducing the height to the desired level, then prune back from the main stem in an upwards direction with the starting point being .5mt above the lowest growth, if the lowest growth is overhanging the lawn these can be shortenened. Remove any growth back to the stem leaving .5 mt  clear space between each remaining branches, anything too long shorten. Try to create an overall shape of a pyramid which has had the top removed, you don't want a pointed top. There should be visible clear stem when finished.

    I would guess that there will be little growth at the back of it due to crowding out by the shrubs behind? These need either drastically reducing or probably removing particularly the budleja and is there a philadelphus behind it?

    All this is drastic I know but you need to explain to the client that short term pain will be worth it.

    In my opinion, for what it's worth! The types of shrubs within the border should be seen as standalone specimens with clear areas between each not as it is now with them all growing into each other!

    Hope that's of some help, get those loppers out!

  • You have been dealt a tough hand I think.. if it was me I'd tarart at the bottom and measure the distance from the first set of branches to the second, then use the same  distance to the next and so on, removing anything in between with a fair amount of standing back and checking...the red block wall isn't helping as a. Green screen behind it might make it more impactful.there is work in the border and It make take time to tease the combinations out...

    best of luck 



  •  Thanks for the replies. Good to know that I can give it a reshape without damaging it. Much appreciated.

  •  I would cut it back quite hard so that it can regrow to a natural shape, rather than trimming.

  • And after all that, the customer wants it leaving as a round shape! 

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