The practice of training shrubs and trees to develop on cables on a wall is called espalier. The plants are grown tall and broad but not deep, producing a silhouette of the tree. One or 2 espalier shrubs produces a focal point in the home landscape. Look for a blank wall to make this kind of dramatic accent.
Evergreen shrubs keep their color all through the year, filling in blank spaces. Fraser’s photinia (Photinia x fraseri), which grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 9, reaches 8 to 12 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide. New growth appears bronze-red aging to dark green. Shiny xylosma (Xylosma congestum) produces arching branches covered with bronze-tinted leaves reaching 10 to 12 feet tall and broad in USDA zones 8 through 11. This heat tolerant tree attracts birds to the landscape.
Espalier bushes with showy leaves create exceptional showcase plants with unusual colours. “Chollipo” euonymus (Euonymus japonicus “Chollipo”) is a compact tree with creamy-edged green leaves which turn blackish-green with bright yellow borders. This evergreen bush reaches 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide in USDA zones 6 through 9. “Silver King” euonymus (Euonymus japonicus “Silver King”) rises in USDA zones 6 through 9, bearing glossy green leaves using silvery-white borders. This sun-loving bush rises 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide and attracts birds and butterflies.
Shrubs suitable to develop flat on cables with showy flowers give dramatic seasonal shade. Search for shrubs with flexible branches like the “Apple Blossom” camellia (Camellia sasanqua “Apple Blossom”), which produces masses of white blooms edged with pink. This densely growing tree reaches 10 feet tall and broad, growing in filtered sunlight in USDA zones 7 through 10. White flowering maple bushes (Abutilon x hybridum “Albus”) develop in USDA zones 9 through 11, reaching 12 feet tall with drooping white summer flowers which attract hummingbirds.
Ornamental Berry Bushes
Bushes with ornamental berries change color throughout the entire year, usually holding on for their colorful berries during the winter. 1 ornamental berry bush is that the fruitland silverberry (Elaeagnus pungens “Fruitlandii”), which grows best in USDA zones 6 through 9, producing a dense 6- to 10-foot-tall vomit. This evergreen tree grows green round leaves with silver markers and fragrant green flowers. Its ornamental strawberries hang on the bush throughout the winter. “Victory” pyracantha shrubs (Pyracantha koidzumii “Victory”) develop upright in USDA zones 7 through 9, reaching 8 to 10 feet tall and 6 to 8 ft wide, with red berry clusters on thorny evergreen branches.