Olearia and Forsythia
There's a nice gold leafed form, equally floriferous, Leycesteria formosa 'Golden Lanterns'. Both forms seed freely about. What about lonicera x purpusii 'Winter Beauty'? It starts into flower from late winter but carries on into spring. Very sweetly scented and early insects love it. Tough, easy to grow and maintain, stands some shade, but best given an open site, any aspect.
I will look into that
, I have the common Leycesteria already in my garden, with seedlings growing well too, so free new plants which is the reason for my basic choice, however it is always good to be able to introduce new plants too.