I love my purple ninebark in all seasons, but it's especially endearing in the fall. It's like the LBD (little black dress) of shrubs--it seriously goes with everything! I adore how it picks up the cherry hues of the self-sown 'Lady in Red' salvia, plays off of the carmel tones in the carex buchannii, grabs some gold (when backlit) to match the edge of the 'So Sweet' hostas at its feet, and still remains cool enough to play nice with the blue caryopteris.
Speaking of carex buchannii, I know that brown-leaf plants are one of those love-'em-or-hate-'em things, and many people find them hard to work with in the garden. But I can't imagine my front yard without them!