Landscaping away the annoying neighbors
Long time lurker, first time poster :)
I'm just going to cut to the chase. I have the most annoying neighbors ever. This will be the fourth summer we've lived here and I've reached my wits end. We live on a corner lot and deal with a lot of stuff--but I have to draw the line somewhere.
Our neighbors across the avenue, in addition to constantly fighting and screaming at each other outside for the whole world to see and hear, play the radio in their garage (which faces our house) so loudly we can hear it in our house with the windows shut. There is no such thing as a relaxing evening in our backyard, because we have to scream at each other over their radio in order to have a conversation. Over the winter, I tend to forget how annoying they are come summer, but we just tried to enjoy a beautiful day outside as a family and it smacked us right in the face.
Over the years, I have spoken with them about their radio, their children beating their dog with golf clubs, I've explained to them I am not their babysitter simply because they feel like leaving and their kids are in my yard (this year the kids are 5 and 8...as I said, this will be the 4th summer we've dealt with this, feel free to do the math) and I get nothing but attitude and feigned apologies. I had it tonight and called the police and explained to them the situation and how I don't want them to be ticketed, I just want them to stop. They did nothing, of course.
So here's my question: What can I put between them and us as a noise/sight buffer (I can't stop them from beating their dog, obviously, so I just don't want to see it anymore). Is a fence or hedge better for absorbing sound? What would look nicer? How tall should it be? Any ideas?
I'm not a "get off my lawn" person, I swear. I work really hard and pay good money to have a nice yard, but I can't enjoy it, and it stinks!