Laurel used as hedging or evergreen shrubs in a border can be pruned to maintain their shape and to restrict size. If pruned now, they only make a small amount of growth over the rest of the summer and will keep their shape through winter until next spring, when new growth starts. For a neat job, avoid using shears or a hedge trimmer as they cut through foliage, leaving a tatty edge that turns brown. Instead, use secateurs and cut the individual stems just above a leaf. It takes a little longer, but the end result is worth it.