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Tips For Landscaping Around Your Hot Tub

Hot tub sales are through the roof these days, and with so many of us spending more time at home, it’s no wonder. Retailers are hard pressed to keep up with the demand these days. One of the reasons is that, unlike swimming pools, you can make use of the steamy waters of your hot tub year round.

If you’ve got a tub already or are getting one installed, you need to consider the landscape that will surround it, when it comes to positioning and views. It’s important that the immediate area around your hot tub be clean and safe, but it doesn’t have to be concrete and ugly!

After all, a hot tub in the backyard becomes a focal point just by virtue of its size so a little bit of planning and design will make it stand out in the right ways.

Consider Your Positioning

If you haven’t already installed your hot tub, consider the positioning of it from a couple of perspectives:

  • How far is it from the back door? If you’re going to have to shovel out a long path in the snow to get to it, you might decide it isn’t worth the effort, in January. To get maximum use of the tub, it should be within a reasonable proximity from the back door of your home for an easy dash!
  • Avoid placing it in the middle of your yard: it will become TOO MUCH of a focal point. Hot tubs integrate best into the landscape if they are more off to the side.
  • Covered or not? Many people choose to put a hot tub under a gazebo or overhanging deck, in order to provide some privacy and also to protect the area around it, to make it easier to access in all weather.
  • Look at the view. Unlike a swimming pool, where you are more often swimming laps or just fooling around, a lot of time in the hot tub is spent sitting back, relaxing and looking outwards. So what will you be looking at? The compost pile and garbage cans or a beautiful wall of blooms and grasses?
  • Consider who will be viewing you while you’re in the tub. By placing it near a privacy wall, or in a spot where you can create privacy, you can avoid your nosy neighbour peeping over their fence at you while you’re trying to relax!

Walkways Around The Hot Tub

Some people choose to integrate their hot tub into their deck, so while the tub is still above ground, you walk into it, as you would a pool. It’s pleasing to the eye but it’s a bigger project. If that’s not in the cards, it’s important to consider what the pool will be set on and what will surround it.

Cement, interlocking pavers, flagstone or stone tiling, are just a few options for walkways and areas around your tub. The pavers are a superb way to create pathways to and around the hot tub, allowing space to get around it for cleaning and maintenance, as well as making a clear path to have access even in the winter. Durable and easy to install, pavers don’t require mortar, so they make a good economical option too. Different colours and shapes are available, which allow you to design a hot tub area that matches your style.

You can also consider landscaping around the hot tub, with tall grasses, bushes and so forth, which have the added advantage of creating some privacy. After all, your enjoyment of an evening soak might be dashed a little if your neighbours are able to peer over at you!

Landscaping And Hardscaping Around The Hot Tub

If you’re planning on having trees near your tub, look to species that will not ‘shed’ a lot of leaves and branches into the hot tub. Even though you’ll use a cover when it’s not in operation, it can still rain a lot of leaves from the time you set up to get in and when you exit your tub! You also don’t want trees with root structures that could impact the flat surface you have created for your hot tub.

All that said, having some foliage can create a little shade, which makes your tub usable even in the midst of a fully sunny day, as well as to create a windbreak and some privacy for your enjoyment of the tub. With both of these functions in mind, evergreens are a good, low maintenance option.

If you want more plants and colour around your hot tub, container gardens, set at different levels are a good choice: you can move them if you need to but they can also be set at different heights for a variety of a view.

The types of trees, flowers and plants that you choose should be consistent with your hardiness zone: recreating the tropical paradise from your last vacation might be the goal, but the reality is that you can’t plant palm trees in Mississauga. You can, however, use a textural mixture of stone, rock, garden pots, grasses and shrubbery to create a truly luxurious ambiance.

Container gardens around your hot tub will also allow it to blend into the landscape more, rather than standing out. It really depends on the look you’re going for, but this type of landscaping will still give you the access you need to maintain and protect your hot tub, all year round.

Blending the materials from the rest of your garden design into your hot tub design is the best way to keep flow and a cohesive look. For example, if your garden patio is made up of elegant stone, you want to keep that up around your hot tub. Most hot tubs are set up on a concrete pad, to ensure they stay level, but there’s nothing preventing you from integrating the same stone from your patio right up to the level of the pad, to keep it out of sight.

Other Considerations

Lighting around the hot tub is an important consideration: you don’t want a spotlight on you while you’re in it, but you need to be able to get to it safely, any time of the day or night. After all, a late soak after a long day might be just what the doctor ordered, but not if you trip on the way to the tub and hurt yourself!

However you design the space around your hot tub, make sure that the maintenance panel is accessible at all times, whether through a trap door section of the deck or enough space around the tub, particularly near that panel. You don’t want to have to tear apart your design so repairs can be made!

With all these tips in mind, you can get to planning the ideal hot tub escape to enjoy for years to come.

Looking For Calm? Plan A New Water Feature In Your Garden

Adding a water feature to your backyard is a wonderful way to create another layer of serenity in your quiet space. The tranquil sounds of water bubbling, the sunlight glinting off the surface… all intended to enhance your calm.

If you want to add your water feature this spring, for a summer of enjoyment, you should start planning now!

What Kind Of Water Feature Do You Want?

There are several questions you need to ask yourself:

  • How big a feature do you want? This depends on the size of your yard and your existing landscaping. You don’t want the feature to become overwhelming. Balance is everything!
  • You also need to decide why you want a water feature? If it is to enjoy the sound of running water, you’ll want to place it not too far from seating areas and you’ll want an option that runs, like a waterfall, rather than a standing pond.
  • What type of feature would suit your current landscaping?
    • Pond
    • Waterfall
    • Stream
    • Fountain
    • Some combination of the above?
  • How much budget you want to set aside for this project? With water features, ‘you get what you pay for’ is a true statement. If you skimp up front, you’ll have more maintenance issues downstream.

Features Of Different Options

Pond — A pond, whether inground or above, including fish or not, is a beautiful addition. You can add a waterfall, to get more of the sound of water effect. Either way, a pond is lovely but it is also space consuming so you need to have a big enough yard to accommodate a pond without risking that someone is going to fall into it because it’s taking up too much space! Consider also, if you have a sloping area in your garden, how a waterfall would look, with a pond at the base, making positive use of the natural grade of the ground.

Ponds are build with a pump to ensure that oxygen levels are adequate for maintaining fish and plants. Your setup will also include a filtration system, which removes debris and other matter that might throw the pond out of balance. While a pond isn’t expensive to maintain, the initial cost might be a consideration, particularly if you want to add a waterfall to your feature.

Placement of an inground pond is particularly important if you want to avoid flooding your garden! A low spot that will already be taking the bulk of the spring run off might overwhelm the pond, in terms of water and chemical balance. Another consideration is what trees you have around the pond. Overhanging deciduous trees can look romantic until you end up spending a lot of time cleaning the leaves out of the pond.

Pondless Waterfall — As stated above, you can include a waterfall with your pond, but if you have small pets or children and are concerned about their safety, a pondless waterfall is a great option! The waterfall is designed to flow into a rock and gravel basin, which by way of a pump, is cycled back up and down the waterfall without pooling.

Utilizing natural elements, like boulders and rocks, to create your waterfall allows you to place it in your garden, almost as if just appeared there one day! A waterfall can also spruce up a space that is otherwise less visually appealing, like a standard retaining wall. Double it up with a waterfall and now you have a focal point to enjoy!

Stream — If you really want to create an interesting focal point and have the space for it, you could use a stream as a way to connect two separate features. For example, you could have a waterfall that is connected by a tiny stream to a pond. With the addition of foliage and rocks, the whole water feature can look very natural!

Fountain — If space is an issue, a fountain might be the perfect solution. An above ground fountain creates a gorgeous focal point in a garden. You can do anything from a traditional stone fountain or bird bath in the middle of your yard to a modern spherical waterfall fountain feature on your deck.

Just be sure to match it to the style of your home and garden. A focal point that doesn’t blend well with the surroundings isn’t a plus. If you use smaller, self-contained fountains, you can place several of them in your garden, surrounded by flowers and foliage, so that they almost seem part of the landscape.

Water gardens — A water garden is a space where you cultivate water plants. This could be a watertight container or a group of them on your deck, or set amongst other foliage in the garden. Lotus is a great example of a beautiful flower that blooms in water. Water lettuce and canna plants are other options.

Make A Water Feature Part Of Your Larger Landscaping Project

If you were planning to revamp your landscaping this spring, including a water feature in the plan from the beginning will be a lot easier—and less expensive—than adding it in later. Having to grub up some of your newly planted flower beds to make room for the pond isn’t ideal!

Whether you’re planning to DIY your project, or hire a professional to get it done, visit your local garden center for advice and information to make sure that your water feature project is a success you can enjoy for years to come!

Mississauga Location of Services – Call Before you DIG!

location-services.jpgDue to the wonderful weather we have been having recently, people are beginning to tackle their outdoor garden or landscape projects sooner rather than later.

At Toemar, we highly recommend that before you begin to dig up your property, it is important to pinpoint all the services (e.g. gas, electrical, sewer, cable, telephone, water, and irrigation) located around your landscaped residential property. By taking this precaution, your project will not run into unexpected surprises and possibly very expensive repairs.In Ontario, you can take advantage of the FREE ‘Locate Services’ program. It is a smart way to be assured that your project is safe – both physically and legally. You can book this service online at ON1CALL or call them at 1-800-400-2255

 

 

 

 

 

 

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