Shrubbery serves several purposes

Shrubs serve a dual purpose by fleshing out gardens to provide them with extra body and also prove aesthetically pleasing when given the chance, it has been asserted.

Writing in the online pages of the Observer in recent days, Dan Pearson suggests that he used to view such plants as an "amorphous collection" that served little purpose other than to provide screening.

However, "on closer inspection theres a very different story to be told," he asserts.

Mr Pearson notes that shrubs add body to a border and prevent them from being reduced to ground level during the colder months.

"I also love the way a shrub can illuminate a garden and eclipse everything around it for a fortnight when it comes into bloom or – even better – if it does so and is perfumed," he suggests.

The BBC identifies potted shrubs as the perfect plants to help brighten up a drab or bare-looking patio.