It's a verry shallow border, bordering plum slate. Raised flower bed one side, small buddleja the other and a dwarf apple tree.
Pretty good soil - heavy clay mixed in with lots of well-rotted stuff, so very free draining and rich. Just been mulched too.
No idea what pH but roses love it.
Ideally looking for something that has a very striking deep plum/burgundy/maroon leaf, possibly evergreen, but not anything spikey like berberis as kids running about nearby.
A gorgeous Cotinus (Smoke Bush) caught my eye today and that's just the colour I want, but grows up to 5m so that put me off a bit (my garden is only 6mx6m urban, so I need a bush that won't invade and will grow quite compact, perhaps no more than 1m or so)
Can a Cotinus be cut back a lot to keep it in check, or is there something even better out there I know nothing about?! (very likely, as my knowledge isn't vast!)
Exposure: bit of early east sun, then sun again from about midday to 2ish. Protected, against a fence in a walled garden.