Shrubs that flower on the coming year’s growth, like the gaunt giant Buddleja, can be pruned now and in the coming weeks. The wood is flimsy and easy enough to cut, so most of the work can be done with loppers and secateurs, with the banana saw coming in handy for a few seconds on stouter shoots.

Slice and saw away, setting the unwieldy but lightweight shoots aside one by one, until the whole thing has been reduced to a roughly even structure of 1in-thick branches, like a rather coarse pincushion. Snip off any spindly shoots, and make a bonfire.