By privacy do you mean hide the fence and wall behind? I would cut them down to about a foot high to encourage thicker growth. Laurel is a vigorous fast grower and responds well to heavy pruning. I have cut down much larger laurel and they always respond by growing even more strongly. Don't worry about loosing all the height you paid for, that has meant strong roots.
Given the size of the carrots they will be very small flowers indeed . They were part of a novelty colourful veg seed collection I got as a joke pressy so no great loss.
I sowed some purple carrots in a container last year but only got very small carrots so didn't bother to harvest them. The roots left over the winter are now sprouting again. If I let them grow (with feeding and watering) will I get larger carrots this year?
https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/Search-Form would seem to be pretty close to ideal for you. Much as I enjoy browsing through the A-Z it is very handy to do a quick check via the web.
I put sunflower hearts into the feeder, any spills rapidly get mopped up by wood pigeons, blackbirds and chaffinches. A couple of weeks ago a pheasant took up residence under the feeder for a few days.
Can't help with the weeds but the bush is a nice camellia with lots of flowers waiting to burst out.
Literally watching seeds grow - a time lapse video of a bean seed germinating. Took me about 6 hours to make but only takes a minute to watch. Enjoy! https://vimeo.com/72183576
I had no idea that bees needed water until I saw them on an old growbag sucking up water from the damp compost. The growbag was on a tray which held rainwater and kept the contents moist. After seeing this I leave an old growbag in a tray for them every year and keep it topped up with water.
I used a GoPro for this video. It has a very wide lens so needs to be placed very close to the feeder but the birds don't seem to mind.