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This oasis is a spa retreat.

Rocks, plants, and an elevated spa--all in a remodeled pool

TAKING A LONG, WARM SOAK in a secluded, rock-sheltered hot spring sounds like the kind of solitary pleasure that awaits only hikers in remote, scenic mountains. But the owners of this backyard spa in Southern California just step out their back door and walk to the edge of their remodeled pool. Beyond the pool's shallow end, trees and large boulders frame an elevated spa, which spills water into the pool.

Just a year ago, there were no trees, boulders, or spa--just a pool that lay awkwardly close to a stark concrete-block retaining wall. The pool and its narrow perimeter deck took up most of the yard, yet the owners wanted to add a spa and make the garden more inviting.

Instead of looking for a place to build a spa next to the pool, landscape designer Nick Williams of Tarzana of the shallow end. A new wall rises from within the pool and extends more than 18 inches above the waterline to define the 5- by 8-foot spa. Behind the spa and along the end closest to the wall, the pool's bond beam was extended 12 inches.

The little remaining flat space hosts plants and rocks--both real and manmade. Large boulders are hollow; they're made of concrete that was bonded to forms of steel bar and wire mesh. The surface's texture and color mesh. The surface's texture and color mimic the real rocks that line the spa's walls. The tallest boulder actually masks views and blocks sounds of pool and spa equipment. Trees, ornamental grasses, and flowers soften the look of the wall behind the rocks. The concrete wall's grid disappears beneath a coat of ocher-stained, water-washed stucco.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:landscape design for an outdoor, elevated spa
Author:Whiteley, Peter O.
Date:Jun 1, 1992
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