Crowded Shrubs and Pizza Night at Costco

Texas sage

My family has a tradition of gathering together at Costco (of all places) for dinner once a month. (For those of you who don’t know what Costco is – it is a lot like Sam’s Club).

You see, we all love Costco and their pizza is pretty good.  So, my mother, sisters, brother and their families all gather together with mine at Costco.  We take up about 3 – 4 tables in the eating area and eat our pizza, hot dogs or chicken rolls.  What makes it even more fun is that we find that our families intermix with each other.  I often find myself eating with one of my sisters, my niece or one of my nephews.  My kids take the opportunity to sit with their cousins, aunts and uncles.

After eating dinner, we all go shopping.  Costco has lots of things that we like, but my big weakness is the book section.  I absolutely love to read….especially fiction.  So, I always budget a little money for spending on books.

As we pulled into the Costco parking lot, I noticed a bunch of shrubs planted too close together.  Unfortunately, a very common occurrence – especially in parking lots.

Bunch of shrubs

Bunch of shrubs

The landscapers prune these Texas sage shrubs into ‘cupcake’ shapes’ to keep them from growing into each other.

You would have a hard time telling that these are actually flowering shrubs, wouldn’t you?

In a nearby parking lot island, there were other crowded shrubs….

Bunch of shrubs

These Feathery Cassia (Senna artemisoides) have been planted very closely together and the landscapers are doing their best to keep them pruned so that they don’t touch each other.

The problem is, is that it is ugly and isn’t all that healthy for the shrubs.

So, here is my solution….

How about letting the shrubs grow together and form an informal, flowering hedge?

That would mean less maintenance and more attractive shrubs.

**If you have a similar problem, try letting your shrubs grow together.  You’ll appreciate the lower maintenance and your shrubs will actually flower.


Last night, I made 6 dozen Snickerdoodles using one of my favorite recipes.  I got the recipe for my wedding shower almost 26 years ago.  They are very easy to make and taste delicious.

I’m going to a cookie exchange party today and I can’t wait to see what types of cookies I come home with.  If I can keep my husband and kids from eating the Snickerdoodles first 😉

Here is my Snickerdoodle recipe:

1 cup softened butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon saltCream together the butter, sugar and eggs.

Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and mix well.

Roll the cookie dough into small balls, about 3/4″ and then dip into cinnamon sugar.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 8- 10 minutes.

Makes 5 – 6 dozen.

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do 🙂

Modern Shrub Sculpture?

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, 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."
5 replies
  1. Desert Dweller
    Desert Dweller says:

    Our local Costco stores are the opposite in landscape sins…the wrong plants, used poorly, and too sparsely. Maybe worse than yours'.

    I like the ramada and other plants there…if only local codes and designers there would plan for mature sizes in their work…and codes would not allow such pruning, since it kills the very effect they want (buffering, screening, softening of paving, beauty).

    Their pizza is not bad, nor their 1/4 lb Hebrew N'tl dogs!

  2. Desert Dweller
    Desert Dweller says:

    I forgot – your snickerdoodles look – and taste – great! Yours' is the exact same recipe I've used for years, in my late mother's 1950 "Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book". MMMM!

    (you inspired me to make almond cookies, from a Butte (Montana) Heritage Cookbook…1st cookies from scratch in months)

  3. Rohrerbot
    Rohrerbot says:

    That sounds like a lot of fun!!!I absolutely love shopping at Sam's Club. But we buy our birdseed at Costco. Great idea about letting the shrubs grow together. They look terrible in those pics all hacked and butchered. They actually look worse like that. This time of year stresses me out, but I really do enjoy spending it with family and friends.

  4. Orchid food
    Orchid food says:

    Dendrobium orchid has to be repotted in spring after blooming, once every other year. Choose the potting mix according to the pot size and plant size. For a small plant use grade fir bark, while for a plant bigger than 6’’ choose medium grade bark. You can also use long-fibered sphagnum moss.

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