Austromyrtus Blushing Beauty
This is one of my favourite shrubs. It grows about 1.5m tall and with small neat burgundy leaves on a dense, rounded bush 1m wide. The colour is especially beautiful when the brilliant new foliage emerges in spring but it keeps its dusky good looks all year round. It needs no special treatment and just gets better and better each year as it grows to maturity. It grows in sun or part shade. It has small white flowers, which develop into berries that attract birds.
The shrub can be clipped into a formal shape if desired. In my opinion, 'Blushing Beauty' is more than an adequate substitute in Sydney for the dark-leaved Berberis, which has long been the darling of English gardens. In the photo here, I have two specimens planted together to produce a wider mass. I think it could be used as a successful low hedge.
Postscript: My plants became infected in March 2012 and have been removed from the garden. I don't think if it is advisable to plant them these days. Look for alternatives, such as the purple-leaved Loropetalum chinese.