Behind the cypresses and lath … hot tub privacy Essay

No small addition to a garden, a hot tub has to be placed andlandscaped carefully. The octagonal hot tub and 7-foot-tall lathprivacy screen pictured here had stood out like a sore thumb when theywere built in Chris and Ross Nooney’s small Seattle garden. To blend the structures in with the garden, landscape designerSteve Lindjord camouflaged the screen from the much-used adjacent patiowith five 5- to 7-foot-tall hinoki false cypresses (Chamaecyparisobtusa). Hinoki, a shapely tree with an open, spreading habit, is bestadapted to low elevations of the Northwest and northern California;gardeners in warmer climates can achieve similar effects with Aleppopine (Pinus halepensis), Japanese black pine (P.

thunbergiana), andnative junipers. After three seasons, the hinoki cypress have grown 3 feet. To keepthem from getting too big, Lindjord and Nooney tip-prune them in springafter 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 plantingstogether.

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

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