Sometimes I think I must live in Versailles, France. In my suburban America, shrubs and small trees are trimmed on a regular basis into balls and cones. Probably this is done to keep the plants in scale to their surroundings. Sometimes, it looks to be just something to do. Just like everything else, there is a time when this should be done and a time when it shouldn’t.
I prefer to select plants that fit the site and naturally grow into the desired shape . When this is done at the design phase, then there is less maintenance required later in life. Like a conical evergreen? Select a Blue Point Juniper. Like a short round evergreen? Select a Dwarf Yaupon Holly or Carissa Holly. Like a natural small tree? Select a Yaupon Holly or Crape Myrtle.
Here you can see how natural the setting is when selective plants are allowed to grow in their natural growth habit. Trim plants as needed to accentuate their natural growth habit and to keep them in scale with the surroundings. The natural forms are wonderful to view throughout the seasons. This example is of a Deciduous Yaupon Holly. The berries of these plants are shown in all their glory after the leaves fall off in Autumn and hang on through the winter.
The berries are a draw for birds as they flock to the small trees seeking food.
Now to me, this is more pleasing than viewing a hedge trimmed lollipop shaped Yaupon stuck on the corner of a house looking like it came direct from Versailles.