Hostile Looking Shrub?

Hi, Everybody,
I know that this is a goofy question. Long story.
There is a space that will fit about four, 20-litre (5- gal) containers, side-by-side. I am considering looking for some kind of small shrubs that look, well... *hostile*. Like, "Don't come too close... Maybe don't even try to *look* past this." Maybe 4-5 feet tall, including the containers if possible, but shorter may be acceptable.
Cacti and other succulents are too slow-growing, and expensive for already-large ones. (Although, my landlord recently joked about my small ones inside, "If a burglar saw *those* in the window, then they might reconsider if this place really a good target." LOL)
Any suggestions?
Thanks...
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total distance is 7 or 8 feet?

a teetering overhanging solid mass of "disease coated" barbed wire??

i cna't think of any shrub-looking shrub that would survive long in containers, unless iirrgated with extreme reliability and dilignece.

"art" (sculpture)
can you train vines along a trellis, while the vine roots are actaully in ground to either side of this trellis "hedge"?

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