Ill start by saying yes I do hedges, but only when designed for that purpose. I keep walkways clear when I have to. My focus on pruning is to reduce and maintain the plant without appearing to have been cut. Secondly to prune to encourage flowering. This may mean leaving the plant uncut for several months then cutting it back rather hard to allow for another cycle to produce more flowers.
It is very important to have an expert design your landscape with a variety of plants with different flowering times. Then to have adequate space to allow for growth, to design a plant in the proper location and to have a good growing medium. These are all optimal things but the southwest deserts are not always accommodating.
I have noticed and consequently been challenged by designers that over plant a residence (this overprices a job) sometimes to a point that I advise a customer to remove plants. I received calls from people - " Help me, my gardens a jungle, it's only a year old!" Or other times I go and see beautiful desert adapted plants sheared into "Balls N' Boxes" - hardly a flower in sight, in fact even the Hesperaloe's are sheared.
The city and state landscape areas are per items priced, for a maintenance contractor to get the full amounts they prune every plant every week - that is why you have "Balls N' Boxes"