The GARDENA gardening expert
I do not see a connect between the damage to the wall and the previously planted shrubs, grasses and groundcover, Ms. H. Seen from a microclimate point of view, it is possible that plants could cause a poor drying of the wall. At first, every structure must be made so that such conditions do not wear on it.
What also counts is that when building a wall that a moisture stop is incorporated which prevents soil moisture from moving upwards through capillary force such as a correct and appropriate stucco or rather the complying grout for walls and natural stones.
However, it may be necessary to rework such walls over the years. Moisture can damage a wall, particularly through frost weathering during the winter months. But even when no plants are in front, the wall will become wet on winter days and most times, doesn't dry immediately and cracks may form from the frost. Keeping in mind that it is sight-unseen concerning the conditions at your location, I am of the opinion that there is not necessarily a connection between the plants and the damage to the wall. However, you are not alone with your concerns as I hear similar worries time and again.
For you, all this means you can choose freely the types of flowerbed plants and those out of the assortment from your nursery and their shrub section – according to the location and the needs (sun, soil, your tastes and designing concept). But, if you would like to be on the safe side (and after renovating the wall) you can by all means put a focus on dwarf shrubs from dwarf weigelia, small shrub roses and dwarf forsythia to dwarf conifers.