If you don’t have the soil or space for a traditional hedge, why not create the impression of one by using containers? Design the hedge to whatever length and height you want. Here are some examples of shrubs that make a good boundary or divide areas within the garden.

Fortunately, there are many more suitable shrubs for pots than you’d imagine and, like every other plant in the garden, they need to pull their weight.

They should help you relax and unwind after a hard day’s work. Fruit or herbs do as well for hedging as purely ornamental ones. Fragrance, colour, shape and all-year-round interest are equally important.

Some basic ground rules apply for all these container plants. You’ll create a good hedge effect with closely planted square or rectangular pots that take up less space than round ones.

You’ll need a large strong pot for a fully grown shrub but should start off with a small one for the young plant. Place it inside the final container, potting on as necessary and making sure it’s flush with the final planter.

The best growing medium is home-made compost, otherwise go for general multi-purpose organic compost, like Sylvamix, naturally ensuring it is peat-free.

Regular watering is essential to keep the compost moist, but not soggy. Allow the top 5cm to dry out to act as mulch, retaining moisture underneath, or use an organic mulch. Mix coarse grit right through the compost for good drainage and do not add crocks at the bottom as this impedes drainage. Ensure there are drainage holes and that the pot is raised above the ground.

Every year, scrape off the top 5cm of soil and replace with a top dressing of compost. Wormcast is best and however small the garden, you can still use a wormery to process raw kitchen scraps. You’ll also get a steady supply of liquid to feed the plants. There’s only space for a few examples here. Some of our more traditional hedging plants have unusual forms or cultivars.

One hawthorn, Crataegus x grignonensis, is, believe it or not, almost thornless. It has long-lasting shiny leaves, flowers that gradually change from white to pink and shiny red haws a full 2cm long. The berries on C. pinnatifida are even larger, and others have yellow fruits.

A plant’s scent appeals to us as much as its pollinators, and while Syringa meyerii ‘Palibin’s’ small lilac-like flowers are sublimely fragrant, herbs like rosemary, lavender and hyssop, with fragrant leaves, are also winners.

Like these herbs, bay produces good dense foliage and can easily be pruned to your preferred shape. With a little winter protection, I can grow bay like this, even if I couldn’t contemplate the full-size trees I’ve seen in Greece.

Bushy bamboos give our senses another pleasure: sound. The breeze gently rustling through bamboo foliage is wonderfully calming. At one metre, Bambusa shibataea is ideal. And why not graze from your hedge? Our yard has hosted our son’s gooseberry and blueberry bushes in pots for the last year or two while he’s been travelling. The gooseberries are easily pruned, and the blueberry needs little attention.

Most soft fruit bushes do well in pots, but low-growing and bushy ‘Ruby Beauty’ is the only suitable raspberry type.

And I can never understand why more people don’t plant top fruit: apples, plums, pears and cherries.They’re virtually trouble-free and need little attention.

Varieties suitable for containers have been developed and are grown on dwarfing rootstocks to reduce vigour.

Check whether you need more than one tree for cross-pollination, then simply prune to fit your space and munch your apple.