1 Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna’ from the mildly aromatic silvery green leaves to the violet flower spikes with purple stems. Bees love the flowers that stay looking sharp long after the petals fall, thanks to papery bracts that hold their colour. Dead-heading – either little and often or in one go – encourages new flowering side-shoots till October. 'Caradonna’ loves sun; use it as a purple ribbon through late season grasses or, at 18in (45cm), it is the perfect centrepiece for a pot.
Geranium 'Ann Folkard' by anniesannuals, via Flickr. A hardy plant that likes to climb and meander through other plants. An ugly duckling in the nurseries but don't let that deter you. In the 17 yrs. I worked in the nursery business - I never once saw a nice looking plant come in from our suppliers. Once established though, these plants are gorgeous!
Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) is perhaps the first to come to mind. These shrubs have it all; soft leaves in shades of green, chartreuse, burgundy and purple deepen to rich red in winter, especially when planted in full sun.