I have never understood the American passion for planting shrubs then trimming them into soulless little poodle shapes. Of course I know that the art of topiary goes way back in Europe and Asia, long before the American lawn-plus-shrub culture was even considered. But growing topiary is an art all about careful culture, not about hacking any shrub down to a squat sphere. Maybe it is a symptom of a need to feel in total control of one's environment. I have other thoughts about this, but probably should avoid making sweeping statements about the general American psyche.
Here is a view of my neighbor's yard, seen through my Russian sage. As you can see, she has a very different approach to gardening than mine. When I bought my house 4 years ago, it came with lots of poodle-bushes, carefully lined up at equal distances from each other like little soldiers. I have removed most of them.
The remaining shrubs have been encouraged to grow haphazardly in any direction they pleased. At first they just looked shaggy, then their individual personalities started to come forth. Here are 2 that are now looking nice and unconstrained.
Unfortunately, not every shrub knows how to break out of its formal mode. The bush at the front corner of my property just refuses to spread out and quite probably will never adopt a happily casual look. It certainly looks ill-at-ease with my desert plants. Perhaps it can't relax because it knows I have ambitions to remove it.