Ideas for attractive "structure" / background plants??

Fairfax, CA(Zone 9a)

I need ideas:

1) I stare out at a 100' fence which I covered with white lattice panels cuz the neighbor will never cooperate w/replacing the fence. On her side are 6 HUGE monterey pines, the shade from which blocks my afternoon sun--they're the bane of my gardening existence.

I've put in 3 Austraiian tree ferns, and am looking for some other evergreens, preferably fast-growing, to put between them along the fence so that in winter I'm not staring at bright white lattice. The need to reach 6-8 feet & be attractive in shade. Ideas I've had with "buts" attached:

--bamboo.... but, too expensive
--pittosporum eugenoides...but nursery guy says they need more sun or will be rangy, and difficult
--Nandina....still in the running, but they like more sun too

2) similar situation but shorter, only to 2 feet or so

3) what are some evergreen plants which have the look, shape, demeanor of mature New Zeland Flax--preferably w/yellow-green-gold variegation, but which don't grow so slowly as NZ Flax? While some grasses meet these criteria, many are short and/or deciduous.

Any inspiration will be appreciated.

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