Need advice on very fast-growing, dense privacy hedge
Hi everyone! My name is Pierce; I'm new here on these forums; and I've recently moved from Virginia to Henderson, North Carolina (Zone 7a) where I need an awesome hedge!
I live on an acre of land -- it's a corner lot, with a 6' chain-link fence around the entire perimeter. And while the fence is great for keeping my dogs inside (and other dogs out), it provides no privacy. I've learned, since moving to Henderson, that I have arrived in a fairly high-crime neighborhood where a lot of folks (mostly 20-something-year-old kids) seem to have nothing better to do all day than drive or bike slowly by and stare; and I've had some issues with vandalism and burglary. So, I'm wanting to grow a privacy hedge.
My ideal hedge would be something that would...
* Easily grow to 8' (or, preferably, higher)
* Something that would be very dense (privacy is the main concern here)
* Something that would grow and become nice and dense VERY FAST
* Something that I can easily prune/trim with my electric hedge-trimmers
* Something that could deal with full sunlight & high heat & perhaps a good drought & my crappy soil (full of brick fragments and dust from the house that used to be here a long time ago)
* Something that's relatively inexpensive, as I will need about 400 feet of hedge
I understand I'm probably asking for a "magic bullet" here -- a wonder-plant that doesn't exist -- but I know almost nothing about plants, so I'm hoping that some of you could point me in the direction of a plant that will come as close as possible to meeting my needs.
I've been searching around on the Internet for a little while, and the things I see recommended most often (by commercial sites, so I don't know whether or not to trust them) are: American Holly, Nellie Stevens Holly, and Siberian Elm.
Any and all suggestions for my hedge would be greatly appreciated!