A beautiful and functional backyard pool environment is a pleasure to behold. When pool landscaping is well designed and compliments your home and pool, it adds enjoyment and value. Let’s look at ways you can be successful when landscaping around your backyard swimming pool.
Landscaping your Pool – Terms to know
- Landscaping: the process of making a yard or other piece of land more attractive by altering the existing design, adding ornamental features, and planting trees and shrubs.
- Hardscaping: the man-made features used in landscape architecture, e.g. paths or walls, as contrasted with vegetation.
Whether you’re adding new plants to an existing backyard or designing a brand new pool oasis, you’ll want to make careful material choices. Take into account both aesthetic and function.
Consider all the elements that make up your new oasis. The swimming pool is the focal point of your yard, but take inspiration from your home when designing. Landscaping and hardscaping work together to provide a functional, attractive space around the pool.
Follow local building codes for built elements such as decks, patios, and paths. Use quality hardscaping materials that will be durable, will hold up in your climate and will perform well when adjacent to your pool.
Pool pros recommend a variety of materials that will be comfortable under bare feet, and long-lasting. These can include concrete, terrazzo, wood decking, and stone.
Balance the hard surfaces around your pool with the softening effects of landscaping. Plants add liveliness and interest with height, color, and movement.
Evaluate your existing yard and include any valuable plants and trees in your future plans. Then add new plants that are suitable for your growing zone, are resilient around pools, and don’t shed.
Planting beds should not be right next to the pool. Instead, movable potted flowers and plants can be placed near the pool to add a pop of color and texture.
Design the yard so that runoff goes around and not into your pool – this is an area where a professional pool builder and landscape architect will really shine and save you from big headaches down the road.
Include an automatic irrigation system or a conveniently located hose bib in your plan for reliable watering. You can store a basic set of gardening tools nearby your pool for quick pick-ups and trims.
Regular yard maintenance will minimize debris finding its way into your pool. Pool covers also help to reduce debris in the pool, as well as providing energy savings and a measure of safety.
Pool and backyard lighting will make your yard come alive at night. Up-light your trees and bold plants for a dramatic effect. Light the pool and paths for comfort and safety. You can extend your family’s swimming time by several hours each day just by including lighting in your pool. Well-designed lighting adds sparkle and personality to an otherwise ordinary yard.
Pool Landscaping Adds Beauty & Functionality
Aesthetics matters a lot when creating your backyard paradise. You’ll be happier when surrounded by things of beauty that work well. Get inspired by beautiful photos of pool landscaping on Pinterest, Houzz, Instagram, and www.mydreampool.com.
Surround yourself with plants that you love, and grow well in your yard. Flowers, foliage, and branches provide functional benefits as well.
Trees can provide shade for a nearby child’s playground or summer meals out on the patio. Bushes may screen deck boxes and pool equipment or provide privacy from nearby neighbors. Vines can climb pergolas and walls to create a sense of enclosure and intimacy.
Check your climate zone. Not all plants work well in all climates, so plan accordingly.
- Use broad-leaved plants (oak, maple, elm) and evergreen plants (hemlock, blue spruce, white pine) in northern climates to provide year-round form and color, as well as reliable shelter for backyard birds
- Add succulent plants for success in arid climates where rainfall is not reliable
- Perennial native plants are an economical, long-lasting choice in all climates
- Check with your landscape designer or local plant store for advice
Pool Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts – Choosing Plants
The primary consideration when choosing plants near pools is to avoid those that shed and drop debris in the pool. For this reason, lawns and planting beds should not be adjacent to the pool.
For a successful start, plants also need the proper growing environment. Prepare the planting beds and amend the soil with organic material, as needed. Here are some tips for choosing plants:
- Plants that are sun-lovers
- Plants that are drought-tolerant
- Plants that are ornamental grasses, especially native plants
- Plants that are evergreen shrubs and trees
- Plants that are ivy and other hardy ground covers
- Plants that are succulents and tropical plants (check your USDA Hardiness Zone)
- Pots and planters with colorful annual flowers (water frequently)
You don’t want:
- Plants that are messy, dropping leaves and debris in the pool
- Plants that bear fruit
- Plants with lots of flowers
- Plants with deep root systems
- Plants that require lots of water
- Big trees and plants that provide too much shade on your pool
- Plants that attract stinging insects like wasps and some bees
- Plants with thorns and sharp foliage that can cut pets and people
- Plants that will grow too big, taking up space and blocking the view
- Plants that are not compatible with chlorinated pool water
- Plants that are poisonous or harmful to pets and people
Get started designing your own pool landscaping! See beautiful and functional pool landscaping ideas on our pool inspiration website MyDreamPool.com, and on our social media sites: Instagram, Facebook, Houzz, Pinterest.