Magnolia 'Little Gem'-easily controlled to te 2.5-3m height range that suits your requirements ben. Will generally form a clipped block of foliage over time though not as dense as the lilly pilly we chatted about. *Could be used as a "pleached" hedge(stripping the trunk of foliage and promoting foliage on the top half of the plant) so that a second tier of plant material can be included underneath for a more dynamic visual aesthetic.
Small nooks with a place to sit offer mental space to observe small vignettes of life--the play of light and shadow, a bumblebee moving from flower to flower, variegated leaves, stems of grass in a breeze. By being drawn into the microcosm of life, the viewer returns to the macro world which seems spacious and full of discoveries waiting to be seen.