Ilex crenata ‘Mariesii’ – This slow-growing cultivar of Japanese Holly has tiny rounded leaves held in dense clusters, giving it a very sculptured look. It is often used as a bonsai specimen in oriental gardens and also works well in containers. The growth habit is somewhat irregular but is easily controlled with light pruning. Grows 3-5′ high by 2-3′ wide. Hardy to zone 5.
Ilex crenata ‘Golden Gem’ – This evergreen shrub is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and features rounded golden-yellow leaves that form a dense canopy. It has insignificant flowers and a spreading growth habit, making it an ideal shrub for mass planting. With a little finesse pruning it can be trained into a bonsai specimen. Grows 2-3′ high by 4′ wide. Hardy to zone 6.
Ilex crenata ‘Fastigiata’ – The upright columnar growth of this cultivar very much mimics that of Irish Yew, making it ideal as a centerpiece in narrow urn-shaped containers. Occasional tip pruning is important in regards to density, as un-pruned specimens often get leggy with the branches peeling outwards. Tiny black berries. Grows 5-7′ high by 2-3′ wide. Zone 5.
Forsythia x intermedia ‘Karl Sax’ – This cultivar is slightly hardier than ‘Spectabilis’ with flowers buds not usually harmed by late frosts. It features more graceful arching branches than ‘Beatrix Farrand’ with these bearing deep golden yellow flowers (with a darker throat) for about 2-3 weeks, before the leaves emerge. Grows 8-10′ high by 10-12′ wide. Hardy to zone 5.
Forsythia x intermedia GOLD TIDE (syn. ‘Courtasol’, MAREE D’OR) – A dwarf cultivar that was germinated from seed that came from an irradiated ‘Spring Glory’ Forsythia. It produced a compact plant with bright yellow blooms emerging from late winter to early spring, before the leaves emerge. A good choice for slopes or banks. Grows 20″ high by 4′ wide. Hardy to zone 5.