I have cut down most of my Dogwood shrubs, to a level just a few inches above ground level:
It looks awfully drastic, but I know from experience that this is the right thing to do. From those stumps will grow a new crop of straight, whippy stems, and it is these new stems that have the boldest colour in Winter.
The removal of the Dogwood has exposed the Clematis growing on the fence behind.
The Clematis is an un-named one that I got as a Freebie from some magazine or other and I have never known exactly how to treat it. I know that different types of Clematis need different care. Some, for instance, need to be cut right down each year, whereas others are best left to ramble. I think mine is probably one of the latter.
Anyone recognise it from the flowers? To me it looks a bit like the "Montana" type.
As well as the Dogwoods, I pruned my Hydrangea bush. The old flower heads had been getting a battering from the wind, and quite a few had snapped.
So I snipped off the desiccated flower heads, trimmed a couple of damaged branches and cleared away all the pine-needles, leaves and miscellaneous debris from the surface of the soil, leaving everything neat and tidy.
Last year, just after I pruned the Hydrangea we had a spell of very cold and windy weather, which damaged the plant a fair bit - several of the new buds were killed off - so this time I have been very careful to position the plant in a sheltered spot, protected from the worst of any gales we may have. To be honest, I'd like to put it under cover if I had anywhere suitable.