Need to decide if will rip out the privets and replace with English or Portugese Laurel, or if there's a way to plant varied things that will grow 6'-8' tall and 4' wide (ok if I have to prune) under/in front of the privets and be dense and evergreen enough to create privacy screen - without making the privets look like scrawny sticks poking through the lower plants.
Privets are old and unkempt, bare for first 4' then up a scrawny 20'. I have big blue morning glories growing in them and kind of like the secret garden effect. But...Privets are planted along property line of our attached house's 25' x 20' backyard patio and provide no privacy screen to neighbor (whose AC unit, BBQ and table are clearly visible through bare privit bottom - as are ours to them!). They're in a garden bed that's 4/12' at wides point an 2'at narrow end with part sun to full shade.
Always thought would plant mixed evergreen flowering plants (e.g., tall azelea, rhododendron), but did some research and not sure I have the room, that they'll be dense enough for privacy, and/or that the privets will look like horrible scrawny sticks coming out top. Am starting to think I should give up on mixed plant border and just put in a uni-hedge of English or Portuguese Laurel.
Going crazy trying to figure this out - any info/advice very much appreciated!