So, based on your awesome recommendations, readers, I have more options for the back fence/apartment-hiding project. I got some ideas from Landscaping for Privacy (thanks for the recommendation, Heather!) and some from your comments.
Amelanchier alnifolia AKA Western Serviceberry or Saskatoon
This one seems pretty but I’m not sure what it looks like in winter. It’s deciduous, so certainly it’s not going to provide privacy, but I’m thinking it might look actively ugly with no foliage.
Taxus xmedia hicksii AKA Hick’s Yew
This one seems pretty similar to the other evergreens I’ve looked at, though it does seem to have a few bonus features: it doesn’t taper at the top the way many of them do (thus it provides optimal apartment-hiding) and it has pretty pink fruit/berries (the female plants, at least).
I am afraid that a fruit tree will provide too much shade over the back garden, but I do love the idea of having fresh fruit! I’m also slightly wary of the trick of having female and male trees in order to make sure that fruit happens – I really don’t know too much about this yet. Does anyone have any recommendations for specific types of fruit trees that would grow well in zone 6 in full sun? I’m thinking that even if they don’t work for this spot, at some point we’re going to have to replace the giant silver maple in front of the house, and that would be a terrific spot for fruit trees.
and my favorite for the name alone:
Ilex vomitoria ‘Will Fleming’ AKA Yaupon Holly
This one’s got bright red fruit that birds supposedly love.
So, of course, having given myself more choices I’m no closer to deciding. That’s probably a good thing, though, since I’ll need to wait to see what the local nurseries have available, anyway. I’m still all ears for recommendations and opinions, though, so keep ’em coming!