I've thought highly of the Air Force for once upon a time installing natives plants at LA Air Force Base. Unfortunately, it seems like they contracted to install the plants, but not for their upkeep: I've watched as at least 50% of the plants failed due to improper followup after installation and were replaced by less interesting plants. Those that haven't failed have suffered from improper upkeep. Take these shrubs as an example:
They look like an invading armada of garden UFOs. Can you guess what the very geometrically sheared inverted cone shaped shrubs are? I'll tell you that next to the sidewalk is what appears to be a 'Canyon' selection of Artemesia Californica. It is doing well. To the right at the corner is a scattered plot of native Iris (undoubtedly a hybrid, but I don't know which one). Unfortunately, in mid summer both the Iris and the Artemisia tend to look tired. The cone-shaped plant was clearly intended to counter-balance the others in summer with its dense green foliage.
What is it?
If you haven't guessed what it is, I'll tell you after the break.
Don't do this: It looks terrible and it's bad for the plant.