Behind the cypresses and lath … hot tub privacy Essay

No small addition to a garden, a hot tub has to be placed and
landscaped carefully. The octagonal hot tub and 7-foot-tall lath
privacy screen pictured here had stood out like a sore thumb when they
were built in Chris and Ross Nooney’s small Seattle garden.

To blend the structures in with the garden, landscape designer
Steve Lindjord camouflaged the screen from the much-used adjacent patio
with five 5- to 7-foot-tall hinoki false cypresses (Chamaecyparis
obtusa). Hinoki, a shapely tree with an open, spreading habit, is best
adapted to low elevations of the Northwest and northern California;
gardeners in warmer climates can achieve similar effects with Aleppo
pine (Pinus halepensis), Japanese black pine (P. thunbergiana), and
native junipers.

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After three seasons, the hinoki cypress have grown 3 feet. To keep
them from getting too big, Lindjord and Nooney tip-prune them in spring
after they can tell where the season’s growth is headed.
They’re underplanted with columbine for low bloom; in summer,
lilies provide waist-high flowers, and impatiens tie all the plantings

On the house-facing side of the screen, perennial black-eyed Susan
vine (Thunbergia alata) twines through and flowers on both sides of the
lath. Though it won’t take frost, the vine grows 6 feet in a
summer and blooms profusely until winter cold knocks it down. For more
seasonal color, the Nooneys also have potted annuals on the deck by the


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