Looking for plant suggestions for privacy border

Hi All,
I'm located in central NC, near Charlotte, on the cusp on zone 8 but I call it zone 7 to be safe. I have really small backyard in a new neighborhood that is about 60 feet wide but about 70' deep that drops off in the back.
The yard is surrounded by an aluminum style fence that provides virtually no privacy. Seemed like a good idea at the time..
I want to plant a border about 36 feet long on either side of the yard against the fence to gain some privacy.
I've been looking a little bit at arborvitaes but to be honest I'd find a row of them to be rather boring and eventually they'll grow too big and encroach upon my yard and through the fence.
I'm looking for suggestions for plants that grows, tall fairly thin and full enough to provide some privacy but has to be something that I can keep trimmed to say 6 to 8 feet tall. My border is only going to be about 24-30 inches wide.
Things I've been considering--
Bamboo -- not sure it's the right choice due to control and maintenance. Sky pencil hollies -- I'd need a lot of them to fill that space and would take a few years to grow.. Perennial border -- fear that it may not provide the privacy that I want to end up with. Annuals, like cannas with some shorter stuff in front like dahlias, coleus. My favorite choice for now but it'll take a while for them to fill in..
Thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated... Thanks..
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Clem wrote:

Maybe Crepe Myrtles
Carl
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There are lots of different kinds of bamboo. Look around and see if you can find one you like.
Jan
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Bedouin proverb: If you have no troubles, buy a goat.

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wrote:

Be sure to get a variety that is "clumping" rather than "spreading", if I have my terms right. IOW, bamboo propagates underground, so if you get the wrong variety, little bamboos will start coming up all over your yard, and worse yet, the neighbor's yard.
Some people go to the extremes of digging WAY down and inserting an impervious barrier on both sides so the roots can't travel.
Bamboo is beautiful, but you need to do your research before you get into it.
Just my .02
Persephone
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