improving upon thuja
There's a row of arborvitae marching straight along our property line. Can't do a thing about 'em, as they were planted by the neighbors, not us. Just in front of them (too close) on our side of the arborvitae, we have 2 mid-sized oak trees. They're about 18 feet apart and they parallel the row of thuja soldiers. The oaks are nothing special except in summer, but they are beloved by a great many birds, and for that we love them.
We're in a beautiful natural setting, and the thuja look so out of place! Can anyone suggest a way to enliven this military parade and make it a softer, more organic looking display?
Would you plant in front of the oaks, or along side them? Make one large mixed bad along the whole length of the thuja line, or a pair of islands planted around the oaks? Or, because 2 is also too formal, how might one organize 3 island beds when there are already 2 biggish trees? Should we bring in a few more arborvitae just to stagger the row of soldiers?
We're in western Massachusetts, the area is sunny except for the plants described here, and the property slopes down significantly to a lake. There are not (yet) any other significant plantings on this part of the property. The row in question is the right-side property line when looking towards the lake from the house. The other property line is irregular and heavily wooded.