I am afraid that I have the same attitude to the garden as I used to have to my little Cavalier Spaniel, which was basically to let him do exactly what he wanted to as he wasn’t doing ‘any harm’. This was my excuse for letting him jump on to the chairs and giving him treats at meal times. My children told me that I would rue the day, and indeed they were right.

Perhaps it’s the same type of thought process that makes me feel guilty if I dig up and discard (i.e. kill) any plants just because they don’t really fit in with the look I am aiming for? They aren’t doing any harm and are living organisms.

I am happy to move perennials around as they are very forgiving and will usually regrow, but it is a different story with shrubs.

I am trying to reorganise some of the main beds in the back garden by planting some more shrubs to replace the ones killed last year and so am planning what to do.

I have a large Abelia in one of the beds, which is definitely the wrong size and shape for the position it is in. So, I have been decisive, and we have dug up the Abelia and moved it to another bed. We have dug up a few other shrubs as well and planted them in different parts of the garden. I really should have dug around the shrubs in the spring in order to encourage them to put out fibrous roots, but I didn’t – so, fingers crossed and let’s hope they recover from the shock.