Forsythia, or golden bells, is a hardy shrub of the olive family and does well in zone 5. It grows quickly, and from one bush, I have been able to take new shoots and replant them throughout the backyard. Forsythia does require some pruning after the blooming period since the plant blooms on old wood. If you prefer a more controlled, sculptured look, then even more pruning will be necessary. I prefer to leave mine wild.
The plant prefers full sun, and in my yard, it gets it during the spring. During the summer, my plantings do not receive quite as much sun due to all of the oak trees around the area, but they still do well.
Forsythia blooms in early spring, and then provides a great deal of privacy–so these are great plantings along property borders or anywhere you want a little extra privacy–they are often referred to as a living wall.
Forsythia is an easy plant to force blooming in the house if you just can’t wait for spring to arrive outside.