Please can anyone come up with ideas for what may be an impossible list of criteria?
I need a tall-ish slim punctuation plant. Ideally a shrub (for winter structure) but could be a perennial. Ideally about 2m high or so. It must resist wind, as we are near the sea and very windy sometimes (although not strictly coastal planting required, and it's a mild climate otherwise). Stiff tall stems like angelica are therefore out 'cos they will snap.
It needs to go at the corner of a semi-formal front garden which has a small central gravel area on slate, surrounded by a ring of grasses and a few perennials and alliums. The other corners have height from brick posts in the wall plus a spiraea, a rowan tree, and some trellis on the house.
Now here comes the fussy bit: No proper trees, as the spot is right next to the house windows and I worry about the roots, hence also no support available for a climber. No conifers. No bamboo, because there are so many grasses already. Small leaves, so no mahonias or suchlike. As little spread as possible - max 1.5m. Flowers are less essential than the shape and size, but I really really don't want orange red or yellow (unless it's pale lemon). Foliage that is greyish or white variegated would be a bonus.