Sep 21 2015

Florida Trend- Bath Gardens

Bath gardens are becoming more common for residents that live near the beach or have active lifestyles.  Often containing an outdoor shower, bath gardens can be an oasis for days when you don’t want to trek through the house or even on the days with beautiful weather that are so common to Florida.  Not all bath gardens contain showers; some are simply gardens that can be viewed from the bathroom or a soaker tub.  These gardens tend to have a larger emphasis on focal points and softscape.  

To decide which type of bath garden works best for your home the most important question to address is accessibility.  Do you plan on incorporating an outdoor shower?  If so you likely will need to incorporate hardscape elements to help get you through the space.  If a shower will not be used often perhaps a combination of stepping stones and faux turf will work well in the space.  Benches are often incorporated for seating or even to serve as a towel rack and changing area for outdoor showers.   

To make the space one-of-a-kind incorporating accent planting, artwork, or even water features makes the space your own.  Water features can include tiered or wall fountains or water wall feature.  If water is not appealing, incorporating a statue with night lighting is a great option for art enthusiasts and creates a unique focal point throughout the day.  Planting is the final piece to creating your ideal oasis.  Selecting materials that will not block views, requires little maintenance, and has light requirements reflecting the space are key.  Accessibility can be a problem with bath gardens so turf should be used sparingly and plants with similar water requirements should be grouped together.

The image below shows a bath garden for a client preferring mostly hardscape to lead to the outdoor shower.  The statue is lit from below and provides a unique focal point for the adjacent bathroom.   Benches were built-in with raised planters.  The above renderings were for a client desiring an outdoor shower and wall fountain.  Material was kept low to preserve views from the adjacent bathtub and accents and large pots were incorporated to provide pops of color.