We have enjoyed the first burst of colour from Winter Flowering shrubs such as Winter Flowering Honeysuckle (Lonicera Fragrantissima) and Forsythia and the display of coloured stems on the Dog-wood. Now is the best time to prune them to encourage flower/colour for next Winter.
Remove old stems and thin out the centre of the plant to allow air to flow freely and remove any weak looking stems. During the Summer months these plants will put on strong growth and be ready to bloom beautifully next Winter. Witch-hazel and Daphne do not need pruning however.
As the days are warming, it is also time to prune Hydrangeas. Paniculata (cone head) types such as Limelight should be cut back to the lowest pair of buds on strong stems. Remove any thin, weak shoots. The Mophead Hydrangeas will have fat green buds bursting through by now. Prune back too low and the flowers will be reduced. Again, thin out any thin shoots.