What comes to mind when you think of the ‘perfect’ cupcake?  For me, I think of a little bit of cake underneath tons of frosting 😉

Or if you are like my husband, decorated cupcakes are your favorite…

He especially likes the ones with edible toppings…
Which is probably why that is usually the kind of cupcake that I make.
I think what often comes to mind when you mention the word ‘cupcake’ to some homeowners and most landscapers is a perfectly shaped, flowering shrub.
I came upon one of these ‘perfect’ cupcakes the other day, as I was finishing up a consultation.  
What do you think?

Most of the flower buds have been pruned off and the remaining foliage is so dense that it does not show light through to the interior of this Texas Sage shrub.
Eventually, there will be large dead areas and this shrub will decline and die.
Thankfully, this shrub did not belong to my client (it was her neighbor’s).   
You can read much more about this type of pruning and why it should not be done by reading my post, Flowering Shrubs Aren’t Meant to be Cupcakes, Poodles and Frisbees.
Thankfully, my client was not the one who owned this particular shrub.  She actually loves the natural shape of shrubs. 

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Please read my latest Birds & Blooms blog post…..

Stormy Weather and Ruffled Feathers

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

4 replies
  1. Bernie
    Bernie says:

    It's been a while since I've had the chance to pop in and visit your blog … and I seem to have picked a good time! It's a great topic.

    Whilst I so love your home-made cupcakes, that 'cupcake' shaped shrub just looks so out of place. I have to agree with Darla … it is rather ugly.

    What is wrong with the beautiful natural shape of this plant? I do often wonder about the purpose for shaping shrubs like this in a suburban garden … is it meant to be a feature stuck out on its' own like this? It really doesn't work.

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