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I've just moved into a house and have a garden for the first time. Parts of it are very full of large shrubs. I've cut back the buddleia but now I'm stumped (pardon the pun) on this one.
I think it's a contoneaster. Correct? If so, am I right to cut it back hard now or leave it for a while before trying to wrestle some control back?
Not sure...when I try to do a close up on the leaves, they are all out of focus. Could you post a good close up picture of the leaves please?
No problem. Hope this is better.
That looks like the big thorny evergreen shrub that has surrounded my garden for the last 60 years or so :P
No idea what it is but if it pricks you it aches for a couple of days afterwards!
looks like an escallonia to me
Looks like an escallonia to me.
So escallonia is the consensus? What do I do with it? It's too big at the moment! Is now a good time for a drastic cut back?
From the first picture I'd say drastic action is the only course. You can take some cuttings now if you want to keep it, put them to one side and they will root over the summer.
I'd take cuttings of everything, timing is a matter of debate in my opinion as I take cuttings at all times of the year and very few ever fail completely, especially if kept in a cold frame till they take.
Cut back hard now - when the weather is set fair and there are no hard frosts due. Then feed the plant with growmore or pelleted manure to help it recover and keep it well watered if we have a dry spell (I know the ground is sodden but at the base of the plant where it has been covered with foliage for so long, it could well be dry and you want the fertiliser to be activated to help support good growth). Hopefully it should recover quickly. If any hard frosts are forecast when the new growth is beginning to show - throw an old curtain, sheet or the like over the top (depending on the size - don't know how much you have got) to protect the new growth and remove in the morning.
Thanks everyone for your help.