Answer: I think hollies are relatively easy to grow, so I'm not sure why your nursery professional would tell you that they are only for experienced gardeners. Ilex crenata 'Green Lustre' (Green Lustre Japanese Holly) is a Japanese holly which is hardy to Zone 6. Perhaps the caution here is that it will be marginally hardy in your zone 5 garden. All that means is that it could suffer some winter injury during some especially cold winters. The solution here is either to protect the plant from cold winter winds or to prune away any winter damage the following spring. Green Lustre has a similar look to that of English Boxwood. They grow much more quickly than Boxwood however. This variety is known for its dark green shiny foliage. Hope this answers all your questions!
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