Hicks Yews Acquired For Back Hedge - Spacing and Planning

That's a wheelbarrow full of 12 2# Upright Hicks Yews that are destined for our backyard.  #5 on my 2019 Garden To-Do List was to get some Yews into our yard with a hedge and now that I've waited for these to go on sale, I'm this much closer to getting this item crossed off my list.  What's the inspiration for these?  This curvy, swooping hedge from Bunny Williams' Instagram.    I bought Yews that were originally marked for $34.99 that Home Depot discounted all the way down to $9.

I bought Upright Hicks Yews - which Monrovia describes thusly:
An excellent evergreen shrub for tall hedges and privacy screens. The long, upright-growing branches with dense, glossy, dark green foliage naturally form a narrow, columnar habit that works well as a foundation plant, or placed in pairs at entries or doorways. 
I've talked about my love of all things columnar - and that love extends to shrubs.

The spacing on the back of the card claims 8' to 12', but I'm pretty sure that's the potential height, not the width, right?  Everything else I've read on the Hicks Yew is that the proper spacing is 3 or 4 or 5 feet apart.

Here's a look at these and their size below - they're between 18" and 24" tall in #2 pots.  This is three foot spacing and it seems, to my eye, that this is a bit too far apart.  I'm certain, that with time, the hedge will fill in with this spacing, but I don't want to be ten years down the road and still not have a full hedge.   Two feet might be too tight.  Perhaps something like 30" is just right?

More to come when I get these in the ground and clean up the perimeter of the yard.   I'm going to mulch a bed around these new yews, but behind them, I'm going to try something else. 

You remember the 'walking path' idea, right?  It is #10 on my list.  "Remember the path"!  Notice where I'm planting these - not all the way against the fence.  I've left enough room to create a little area behind this hedge that can be lined with stone.

But, before that, I need something that can help with weed control.    Something inexpensive that I can - when we're ready - put a full layer of real mulch on top of.


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