"Let's Go Sit by the Water"

When temperatures soar, no outdoor space provides quite the relief of one by the water. Rogue Valley gardeners are quite certain they will need that relief every summer, so it's no surprise they have created private oases. Some refuges are man-made playgrounds, others take advantage of nature's shading hands.

Ponds are a popular choice of Valley residents. This eponymous Shady Cove site is a dreamy place to spend a sleepy August afternoon. A small deck cantilevers over the pond's edge, while Adirondack chairs, table and umbrella beckon. Add a cool drink and a good book and it's the epitome of summer relaxation.

The little seating arrangement faces into a small planting bed, where color, shape and texture keep the short view interesting. The pond is surrounded by tall pines and firs with shade gardens and antiques as accompaniments.

No matter which way you turn the view is good. Poolside seating comes with the delicious possibility of a cool dip, to say nothing of a bit of spray from the waterslide. These homeowners have placed seating around the pool and added shaded seating alongside the home. Tropically-themed plantings are paired with the brick and concrete "tile" of pool deck.

A steep-slope home site presents problems"¦ and tremendous possibilities, as demonstrated by these creative Shady Cove homeowners. Fire and water set a dramatic stage for seating on this spectacular home's deck. A variety of seating choices sit poolside, with a table for dining set off to the left on the flagstone deck. The close view includes an eagle sculpture, with a river rock fireplace available when the temperature heads in the other direction.

Rocks and waterfalls cool us mentally and physically. The water sounds can be soothing, and any steeply terraced yard is a candidate for this treatment. Here a Medford couple created a water scene they can view from their covered deck and from the home's interior. Evening meals are a treat here no matter what the temperature.

What could be lovelier than a poolside gazebo? In this natural setting, the pool is meant to harmonize with the landscape, which is planted with native and landscape plants. A steep slope contributes a rock wall and a water slide, all in perfect view of the gazebo. The sheltering roof and comfortable cushioned seating makes this a perfect spot to while away the summer hours.

Whether you are sitting in this well situated spa, or just by it, you gain a view to the south of the Rogue Valley, with a thoroughly modern foreground. The right angles of the hardscape are a foil for lovely roses planted alongside the pool.

The view from the deck, located just above the spa, is equally gratifying. Because the pool is lit at night, it's equally attractive on hot summer nights.

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