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Sense-ational Views

This spa and koi pond share a spectacular view.

A spectacular backyard view calls for a spectacular vanishing-edge pool. But when your backyard is a cliff, and it would cost $180,000 just to support the pool, there's a less expensive solution: a vanishing-edge pond — with a spa by its side.

The homeowners' primary interest was to have a hydrotherapy spa that also captured the valley view. So landscape designer Scott Cohen created an 8' x 10' spa with 25 hydrotherapy jets and a waterfall that cascades from a bridge.

The bridge separates the pond from the spa, so it appears that the water is cascading from the pond into the spa, even though it's not.

Around the pond and spa area is a faux-rock stamped patio, tinted and stained to look like real stone. The concrete patio was necessary to weigh down the spa and keep it in place.

The 35' x 20' koi pond in Calabasa, Calif., drops off onto a collection basin about three feet below. "We have had some fish that went right over the side," says Cohen, "so we had to use larger fish."

The landscape makeover, which took about three to four months to complete, also includes an outdoor serving counter, barbecue and a waterfall on the landward side of the koi pond. To complete the low-maintenance spa theme, drought-tolerant plants like purple hopseed, bearded iris, dwarf purple fountain grass and lamb's ears dot the landscape.

Pricetag: $200,000 for the front and backyards

Landscape Designer:
Scott Cohen is president and supervising designer of The Green Scene, Inc., an outdoor design and construction firm in the Los Angeles area. As a ceramicist and sculptor, Cohen frequently uses custom made tiles and statues in his designs. Cohen has been featured on HGTV's Landscapers' Challenge, Designing for the Sexes and various specials, and has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens and The Los Angeles Times.

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