"Surely an acquisition for the most discerning person" - Hebe diosmifolia

Hebe diosmifolia is a lovely New Zealand native evergreen shrub that flowers early and profusely in spring.  The leaves are narrow and dark, with paler undersides and tiny notches in the leaf edges.  Despite the name they don't look much like diosma leaves to me.  The small lavender flowers grow in dense clusters near the end of the branches.  They start opening in early spring and the flowers can cover the neat little shrubs through October and November - good for bees and butterflies. 

Muriel E. Fisher was a most inspiring and enthusiastic advocate for the use of native plants in our gardens, and her book "Gardening with New Zealand plants shrubs and trees" co-authored with Janet Watkins and E. Satchell (1975 edition) is an old friend - it has been very well-used, and was very precious when there was much less information around. 

While the quote in the title was her comment about Hebe diosmifolia, she was quite generous in bestowing such an affirmation on a number of native plants.  And I can't disagree with her.