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)
Daphne × transatlantica Eternal Fragrance ('Blafra') - This compact semi-evergreen daphne produces flowers on new growth, which means that the flowers keep on coming throughout spring, summer and autumn. It is a cross between D. caucasica and D. sericea, and is still quite rare. Its highly scented flowers will fill the air with their heady scent, so plant it near an entrance or pathway so you can enjoy it to the full.
The sensational deep-purple flowers appear on near-black stems so there is a double whammy of strong colour that looks sensational next to silvers, paler purples, blues and pinks of every shade. Perfect for a Mediterranean style garden, but it will work equally well in a herbaceous border and gravel garden. The bees and butterflies will flock to it.