Bush bath bliss

Sunday we spent the day doing a big Autumn clear-up in the garden. Lots of mowing, weeding, pruning and mulching, clearing out the car port, tidying up chicken houses and making Alice the Pig’s Winter straw bed. By the end of the day my body was feeling nice and tired, and I was craving some kind of deep relaxation. The best thing round here for that is a bush bath!

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a bush bath is a bath outside in nature, usually heated in some way by a fire. Ours is an old cast iron bath held in place by a few wooden stakes. You fill it up with the garden hose (and a few buckets of warm water from the house if you’re in a hurry), light the fire underneath, put a sheet of corrugated iron on top to keep the heat in, and wait for the water to get nice and toasty!

Bush bath

I always fill the bath with bunches of herbs from the garden to make it even more delicious and relaxing: lavender, geranium, rosemary, manuka and eucalyptus pods. I put the herbs in right at the beginning and leave them to steep. By the time you come to get in, the water smells amazing. I don’t even bother taking the herbs out when I get in, they just add to the experience.

Bush bath, herbal bath, lavender, rosemary, geranium, manuka, eucalyptus 
I got the bush bath going at about 5pm, but didn’t actually get in until about 11pm! It was a cold, crisp night and the water was steaming hot. I lit candles around the bath and eased in. Ahhhhhhh! 

The smell of wood smoke and herbs, the stars overhead, no sound apart from the wind whispering the leaves nearby, and the chirrup of a solitary cricket. And then, as if it wasn’t perfect enough, a shooting star streaking a bright line down the sky. Bliss.

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19 Responses to Bush bath bliss

  1. Amy says:

    that is like the most heavenly thing i ever saw!

  2. Skyler says:

    it seems to be a trend at the moment or maybe it’s just that all my country friends seem to have one! looks divine!

  3. Wow! That looks so awesome! Bliss indeed.

  4. maya says:

    I’m passionate about baths, and this sounds like my absolute dream soak!

  5. OMG! That is my kind of bath! You are one lucky duck to have a sweet set-up like that. Enjoy!

  6. erika says:

    Wow, that sounds like my kind of bath, but I don’t think that would be so relaxing in a city garden like ours!!

  7. Lucy Patterson says:

    Thanks for all your lovely comments about our bush bath! Erika, your comment made me smile! I used to dream about having a bath like this when I lived in London. On chilly winter’s nights it would have been the perfect thing except for all the neighbours that would have watched in amazement out their windows! I really appreciate how lucky we are to live in such a private and secluded spot now.

  8. Soap Recipes says:

    love your posts. your rss is subscribed to 🙂

  9. David miller says:

    Lucy, what a splendid idea! We live in Finland and we spend long summers at our summer cottages in forests by the sea. We ritualise with wood burning saunas but we do have an antique bath tub that would work a treat as you described. I might even pop in a few birch twigs too. I’ll send you a picture when we try it out!

  10. Tom McKenna says:

    Lucy, the bush bath looks fantastic! Wish my wife and I could have something like that. But we live in the city, where space and privacy is somewhat lacking. So I guess we just have to make do with our cramp showers.

  11. Wow, those candle lights just captivated my eyes. That is such soothing set-up for a bath. Brilliant idea!

  12. Adam says:

    A bush bath sounds like a great idea after a hard day of working. It’s nice to hear the birds chirping and playing as you relax in a nice warm bath. Great idea!

  13. Greg says:

    quoted at adam “A bush bath sounds like a great idea after a hard day of working.” Sounds very relaxing. Thats a good way of treatment- Nico of Brisbane Hypnotherapy

  14. Sarah says:

    Wow Lucy, now that’s what I call a good bath.

    “I always fill the bath with bunches of herbs from the garden to make it even more delicious and relaxing” – this will make my normal bubble bath feel very inferior now. That must be the most relaxing thing in the world – staring up at the stars in a bush bath, it’s relaxing me just thinking about it.

    And I just adore that you have a pig called Alice – how cute 🙂

    Sarah Jameson
    webmistress at diy for the girls blog : Hitachi NT65MA2

  15. Rich says:


    What a truly wonderful idea.
    Unfortunately we have the space but not the privacy. Shame because the idea of a candle light bath al fresco is quite exciting.

    Keep on relaxing
    Tinnitus Control

  16. That sounds absolutely amazing, I would take a bush bath everyday if I could. I like the idea that it’s all natural, down to fresh herbs and being in nature. Excellent!

  17. art says:

    I was looking for something romantic to surprise my wife with .. now I have it!

  18. Mark Gasman says:

    What a good idea Lucy — I truly loved your post. As soon as my wife and I move to the country side, I’ll have a bush bath just like yours, maybe get a bigger tub (the round type) so that me and my wife can spend some quiet and relaxing time in the tub under the stars. Right now we live in an apartment in the city, with no garden, so the bush bath will have to wait.

  19. savy says:

    I can’t wait to try this – simply breath taking.

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