Misunderstanding "cut hard" can lead to our least favorite pruning
Since we cut hard in spring in order to simplify things and save time, it's ironic that promoting this tactic can lead to our least favorite pruning chore. That's pruning to clear up where a timid gardener has been leaving stubble.
A gardener who loves panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata, with conical white, green-white or pink tinged flower clusters in late summer) has too little room. So she keeps the plant down to about five feet with a hard cut in spring. After about five years she realized that stubble is trouble, so we sorted it out for her.