Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' - This small, easy to grow, clump-forming evergreen perennial has strappy, inky purple, grass-like leaves. In summer, small spikes of bell-shaped, pale mauve flowers appear, followed by spherical, dark blue fruit. This unusual plant looks fantastic with other grasses, especially if grouped in tubs or planted into gravel, and it provides a brilliant contrast with silvery plants in sun, or bright green ferns in shade.
Erigeron karvinskianus 'Mexican fleabane' Masses of small daisies, emerging white, then turning pink, with yellow centres, give this plant an unusual, two-tone effect. It has a long flowering period, from May to October, and is amazingly versatile, being low-growing, happy in su sun or partial shade and thriving in any well-drained soil. It's also tolerant of coastal conditions. Try it as an edging plant in a mixed border, alongside paths, in a gravel garden or spilling over walls.
full sun purple sage Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens' Position: full sun or partial shade Soil: light, fertile, moist, well-drained soil Rate of growth: average to fast Flowering period: May to July Flower colour: lilac-blue Other features: the leaves can be used fresh or dried to make stuffings, herb teas and herb butter Hardiness: fully hardy next to rosemary and oregano
Mexican fleabane Erigeron karvinskianus - this pretty daisy makes a perfect edging plant for borders and paths and is a must-have for a wildlife friendly-garden (very popular with bees and butterflies)
Linaria purpurea 'Canon J. Went', toadflax Easy to grow and flowering prolifically in a sunny spot, this undemanding perennial is wonderful in naturalised planting schemes gravel gardens or herbaceous borders. Throughout summer, slender upright spires are covered with small, snapdragon-like flowers in a pretty shade of shell pink, which attract bees and other beneficial insects.
Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Black Lace', aka Black Elder. It has almost black, dissected foliage and from May to June pale pink, musk-scented blooms emerge from beautiful creamy-pink buds. For best foliage effect cut back to ground level each year in early spring