Garden trends - hot tubs

Gardens are working harder than ever, being designed with zones for different activities including exercise, relaxation and entertainment.  A growing trend is to take the well-being element a step further by adding a home spa featuring an indulgent hot tub.

As well as the social aspect, soaking in a hot tub is believed to have various health benefits including improved sleep, soothed aching joints and better circulation.  The hydrotherapy element, which combines the warmth of water and powerful jets for a targeted massage, is particularly therapeutic.

There is a wide range of styles and sizes of hot tubs to suit your garden space, the number of people you want to accommodate and the budget.  At one end of the price scale are beautiful wood fired hot tubs, and at the other plenty of inflatable options by brands such as Lay-Z-spa.

It’s important to do your research and check you’re buying from a reputable brand, such as Jacuzzi, and that they offer a warranty.  Things to consider include the number and power of jets, running costs, heating systems, insulation layers for maximum heat retention and the filtration systems to trap grease or dirt.  Many hot tubs rely on chemicals including chlorine to keep the water clean, but there are other water purification systems that need fewer chemicals.

In terms of the look and landscaping, above ground pine or cedar clad hot tubs have an attractive Scandinavian feel, but you may want to screen other above ground styles with lush planting.  Alternatively, a deck can be built around a hot tub or they can be sunk into a beautiful natural stone patio.

But also think about the view from your hot tub and what you want to gaze out on such as trees, a lawn or pretty borders. Additional lifestyle elements include lighting, outdoor furniture and a stereo system.  Once your hot tub is in place, simply turn on the heat and bubbles and enjoy being within the embrace of nature from the comfort of your cosy tub.