I have a love-hate relationship with swimming pools. On the one hand, swimming pools are just plain fun. On the other hand, I kind of feel like people don’t really put a lot of thought into swimming pools. I mean, swimming pools are so popular that for a lot people they are the default solution for backyard entertainment. “What should we put in our backyard? Let’s just throw in a pool!”
I think that idea tends to close people off to other possibilities. As great as swimming pools are, there are a ton of other options available for your backyard aquascape. Set yourself apart with something a little bit unique.
1. Hot Tub
Alright, I realize that hot tubs aren’t that unique. They rank in as the number two must well-known aquatic fixture right behind swimming pools. Still, a hot tub is a great alternative to a pool, especially if you live somewhere up north where it’s too cold for a swimming pool. There’s nothing quite like soaking in a hot tub while the cool night air tickles your wet skin.
Translating roughly into “scare the deer” in Japanese, these rhythmic devices slam into the ground to release a thunk noise at regular intervals. As the name implies, the idea is to scare deer and keep them from eating your beautiful flower gardens. These devices have since become a popular representation of Japanese culture and they are loved for their soothing sounds. The sound of flowing water is relaxing enough as it is — the sudden rush of spilled water followed by that iconic thunk can add interesting background noise to your property.
Having a backyard shower is especially convenient if you live out near the beach. You can wash the beach or lake gunk off of you so that you don’t drag it through your house. Plus, if your property is sufficiently closed away from prying eyes then you might be able to engage your significant other in an adventurous outdoor shower. The outside showers that you see at public beaches usually aren’t very pretty, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t spruce up your shower with some unique architecture. You could cover the shower head with hanging plants so that the shower is essentially invisible, or integrate the shower into a waterfall or fountain.
4. Infinity Pool
Skyscrapers, hotels, and million-dollar mansions aren’t the only buildings that can keep an infinity pool. You can easily install one in your backyard by incorporating it into your deck.
Last but not least, don’t forget about installing a man-made pond. A koi pond would pair with your shishi-odoshi beautifully. Alternatively, if you’re still stuck on that swimming pool idea, you can create a natural pool-pond.