Answer: The easiest thing to do might be to take a photo of a representative planting and a close-up of one of the shrubs and take it to your professional nurseryman or county extension and ask them to identify it for you.
However, based on your description I think it may be some type of Chamaecyparis pisifera also called Sawara Falsecypress, Sawara False Cypress, or Japanese Falsecypress, possibly a cultivar such as "Mops" or "Filifera Aurea Nana." These are slow growing and considered dwarfs however their mature sizes are actually rather large. (The "dwarf" term is used in relation to the species which grows into a huge tree.)
Another option for summer color and low care might be the golden or red barberries. There are smaller growing cultivars of these shrubs available. Although deciduous, they would generally meet your desired characteristics.
Good luck with your quest!
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