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.