Any other suggestions for at least an 8 foot privacy hedge other than oleander that is fast growing and not too messy?
I don't want italian cypress.
My brother-in-law suggested a lattice.
If privacy is your driving force, I would go with the lattice to get instant privacy. Then you can put in a nice climbing plant to soften things up -- something like star jasmine.
How about bamboo, planted in large pots so that it doesn't escape.
Purple hopseed is a nice privacy hedge. You can trim it or let it be. The foliage is dark purple to burgundy.
This is what I would do. In fact, I may rip out my cypress hedge and replace it.
I'd grow a citrus hedge. Citrus are lush evergreen and beautiful. They do VERY well here. The blooms smell amazing. If pruned correctly they will grow in for total privacy, you can train them to exactly 8' tall, and the thorns will keep out...anyone. And if that weren't enough, you would get free fruit. Good fruit.
Plant them YOUNG and every 4 feet on center (no closer) and then prune them (starting immediately) to be hedges, not trees. They will grow in completely.
Get good varieties... you will have this hedge for 30-40 years. Make sure to vary the varieties you choose within each kind of citrus fruit. (Not two identical lemon trees, but instead a meyer lemon and a variegated eureka lemon. Not just two oranges but a washington navel and a late lane navel, etc., Same for mandarins, limes, etc.) When a fruit has a companion of another variety, they can cross-pollinate and both trees will put out many fold more blooms/fruit. This is true even for self-pollinating varieties.
For success, read more about what citrus prefer. Citrus like well-drained soil, full sun and nothing planted under them. Keep the mulch away from the trunk and maybe even elevate them six inches or so on beds.
That's what I would do if I had the opportunity to choose my hedge!