This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
It is often very interesting to observe some of the various modes which modern ideas have adopted in the way of variety, and even usefulness in many instances, to make screens of different shrubs, and even to ornament the walls of cottages, and the residences of many of our merchants and manufacturing gentlemen. Of course there are the old baronial mansions covered with time's mantle of everlasting Ivy. Few plants, if any, are better suited for covering the walls of such houses, giving an ancient, and even a venerable, appearance to them, which is not to be seen nor expected about more modern erections. However, to have Ivy to look well upon the walls of any residence, especially during summer, and in the neatest way possible, where everything else is kept and dressed in the trimmest manner, it is very essential to trim it during the month of April. The usual mode of doing this is with a reaping-hook or some such weapon, to slash off all the fore-shoots and leaves from the Ivy. However, this way only partially removes the litter, as most assuredly all the footstalks of the cut-off leaves will fall off, and that, too, ere the month of June has passed away.
To obviate this I have on various occasions pulled every leaf off by hand, footstalk and all; thus doing all we could to prevent any littery mess during summer, while everything else was in the best of trim, and wearing a smiling appearance.
The following are only a few of the plants we have seen used for covering walls with, and very successfully, of what we may term common shrubs. To some minds it seems not a little strange to see the pleasing effect which some shrubs make when used to cover walls, especially when judiciously managed; some people like those plants that are evergreens for this purpose. Many plants are highly ornamental when full of leaf and flower, while during the long dull months of winter they are often like so many dried hazel sticks; however, the few which we here enumerate are very useful and ornamental.
Amongst evergreens which we have seen used to ornament the front walls of dwelling-houses and garden-walls, etc, may be named Irish Yews, Common Yews, Arborvitses, Cotoneasters of sorts, and Pyrus Japonica.