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.
Little wonder that the Oxfordshire garden of art dealer, writer and broadcaster Philip Mould, should be so appealing. Mould has had a life-long passion for plants and his 18-acre garden, a combination of wild meadowland and expertly-tended-to formal beds, demonstrates this love of horticulture.