An evergreen tree (the olive) for arid areas. Grows surprisingly fast considering what they sell them for.
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'nigrescens'
Excellent low growing, near black, evergreen ground cover. Great for fringing patios and other artistic creations. Tolerant of neglect but grows well in a warm, wet summer. Expensive to buy, easy but slow to mass produce.
Another beneficial insect pleaser. The cape daisy flowers profusely in spring if the frost does not get it. Easy from seed (variable) or cuttings.