Hedging our bets…

Hedging our bets…

We're in the middle of a property dispute (shared garden with 5 parcels) and it looks like we might at the very least have to take down our hedge to provide more room for another neighbor who might be losing a significant portion of their own garden. The removal of the hedge in itself is not really a tragedy - it's a thuja hedge that has seen better days and is slowly dying. The question is, what can we replace it with? The other neighbor our parcel borders on is extremely unpleasant. They go out of their way to harrass us when we're out in the yard and, while I have no problem standing up to them and telling them where to go, it will probably get much worse once the hedge is gone since we'll no longer be able to just "disappear" behind the hedge and ignore them (a fence is probably out of the question for various reasons). We're thus looking for something dense and fast-growing that can but doesn't need to be cut into a box shape that will once again provide us with privacy within a few years. I've ruled out boxwood because my husband hates it and barberry because it looks similar to boxwood and the thorns apparently make it difficult to weed at the bottom. I don't want to go with thuja again, and white cedar apparently has similar problems. Hornbeam is indigenous to this area, but it's not evergreen and doesn't look that great in the winter (not that we use our garden that much in the winter). I like cherry laurel, but from what I've observed, it seems to take a few years to take hold if ever. I've thought about maybe using forsythia or flowering current or both, or even some sort of lilac. Right now I'm tending toward yew, but I'm open to other suggestions. I live in European Zone 7. ETA: Thanks for your comments and great ideas! The dispute was surprisingly quickly resolved this afternoon, so it's looking like we won't have to remove the hedge till it's time has finally come (probably in the next year or two).
to weed or not to weed

to weed or not to weed

Americanized room in Osaka

Americanized room in Osaka

Merry Christmas, Mom.

Merry Christmas, Mom.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Can this be real?

Can this be real?

Redecorated and Rearranged Living Room aboard NAS Meridian

Redecorated and Rearranged Living Room aboard NAS Meridian