When you say "right down to the base" does that mean leaving a couple of inch stems sticking out, or really so that you can see nothing at all when you have finished? Do the new stems break from underground like a perennial, or from buds on an existing branch, like a rose?
am about to tackle this for the first time on 3 year old midwinter fires, and don't really know what i am doing
Like a rose. You need a couple of stem buds at the base for the new growth to come from. I would say three inch from the ground. You should be able to see thick stems where it was pruned to last time. You can use the prunings as hardwood cuttings to increase your plants if you want.
Sorry chicky, I see you haven't done it before. Like a rose or buddlejas, you need a bit of stem left for new shoots to come from.
I would be a bit more careful with midwinter fire, as in my experience it is a bit weaker. I tend to only prune this one every 2 or 3 years and I dont prune it as hard.
That's true pd, it's a poor specimen compared to most of the rest. Fantastic colour though when it doesn't die back at the tips