Using plants as a landscaping tool
People frequently post here asking to be advised of a plant that will naturally do a certain job for them in the landscape; conceal something, block a view, fill a constrained space, create an image.
But plants only come "naturally" in so many forms (although plant propagation is starting to produce less natural attributes all the time), and many landscaping tasks ask services of them that are fundamentally unnatural - like that they stop growing at a certain size, or grow in only two dimensions. Even if a plant is found that will do the desired task, it will not always grow in the zone where it is wanted.
When you think about it, many landscaping tasks are not natural, such as defining boundaries or fitting within them, or accompanying buildings without overwhelming them. As such, it is somewhat illogical to ask that a natural life form should exist that coincidentally meets this unnatural need.
So humans have developed tools and expertise in the integration of plants into the built environment. A stellar example of this art exists in Vancouver, and I thought I would share it. These trees seem to be in the neighbourhood of 30 years old, and perform the function of screening kids on a school playground from passing traffic. Obviously there is clipping involved, and with some imagination, observation, and reading up on it, I think most people could figure out how to do it.