Creating a Tropical Garden Paradise Around Your Hot Tub
Lately I’ve been dying to go on a tropical vacation, or at least buy a hot tub. But since neither of these activities are happening in the near future, I’ll instead talk about designing a tropical garden space around your hot tub — with a tropical drink in hand!
Choosing an in-ground hot tub
The first choice in choosing a hot tub is deciding what type to buy: in-ground or above ground.
In-ground hot tubs give a lot of flexibility in design, but are more expensive than above ground spas — because when you think about it, they’re basically mini-pools. Your tub can be any shape you want, and you can surround with plants and flowers flush with the spa. No stairs to climb with your Piña Colada in hand — just walk right in!
As for plants to use in your tropical paradise, big leafed plants at different heights achieve a layered, tropical garden feel. Personally, I love to let the plants come right up to the edge of the spa for a cozy, intimate experience.
However, if you prefer the modern tropical look, leave some breathing space around the tub, and plant away from the spa.
Choosing an above ground hot tub
While above ground spas are less expensive that in-ground, they take a bit more design thought because there’s a lot to hide… What’s to hide you ask? Well first of all, spas are huge and can be quite an eyesore. They also usually come with faux wood siding which draws attention to the tub in a not-so-great way.
Above is an example of what not to do when creating a landscape around a hot tub. A bunch of random pots and plants just doesn’t work and here’s why: The small pots do a poor job at hiding the hot tub. Plus, pots are difficult to maintain. It’s just much better to plant directly in the ground with the layered, large leafed plants.
I love the example above because it shows what most of us will face – a raised tub in the corner of the garden somewhere. The layers of tropical plants go a long way to hiding the hot tub and creating a cozy space. In this garden, I would have also added a mixed group of plants right up against the spa to further hide the paneling.
Finally, building a raised deck around the spa is a great compromise between an in-ground and free standing spa. The deck hides the tubs facade, but still allows for planting right up against the tub. Wood also blends well in a tropical environment — staining the deck a honey color gives it that warm, Bali feel.
Ahh, this post nearly satisfied my need for a tropical vacation!
This article was written by Jessy Berg, professional landscape designer & co-founder of Habitat Design. Habitat Design provides full-service online landscape design planning for small and mid-sized gardens, & an online store of unique garden & home furnishings — all at an affordable price. Jessy believes that beautiful gardens should be accessible & affordable for everyone. Check out Habitat Design >