An often-overlooked aspect of installing a backyard swimming pool is the question of landscaping. In addition to enhancing the overall aesthetic of your backyard space and the pool itself, strategic landscape design can help to camouflage the less desirable—but altogether necessary—aspects of a pool, like plumbing lines and other mechanical parts. By the same token, some landscaping simply doesn’t work well with a swimming pool and should be avoided altogether.
Read on for a few ideas on how to landscape your backyard to get the best use out of your pool investment. After all, the more appealing the surroundings, the more time you’ll want to spend in your pool.
Know which plants to skip
Many trees—such as pecan trees, sycamores or gum trees—drop needles, sap or other debris in certain seasons. Unless you enjoy skimming your pool multiple times each day, these plants should be avoided. Similarly, make sure you to avoid planting trees with far-reaching root systems, like certain oaks or weeping willows. These can eventually make their way into your pool’s foundation—meaning you could end up with a large repair bill on your hands.
Factor in the upkeep
Whether you have a lot of time or just a little to devote to the maintenance of your backyard landscaping, make sure to factor that into your design. Those pressed for time may want to incorporate hardier plants like certain palms or native ornamental grasses, and easygoing elements like stonework or a cement patio. Others with more time to spare might consider some of the many beautiful—but higher-maintenance—plant options, like beds of tropical flowers.
If you’re the type who hates to commit, installing a diverse container garden around your pool can be a great option. You’ll have a wide range of options of both plants—zinnias, petunias, lantanas and marigolds all work well—and container materials like terra cotta, ceramic and wood. Container plants can easily be swapped out from one season to the next, so they’re a great option if you like a little variety in your plant life.
Plants with a purpose
When it comes to disguising the less-attractive elements of your pool, like the pump or other machinery, you may have to get creative. Create a wall out of tall grasses or a dense shrub, or plant a vine to grow over (and eventually cover) latticework or fencing. You could even alter the gradation of your backyard in order to hide unsightly features behind an elevated plant bed or small hill. Ideally, the elements you use to camouflage will blend in seamlessly with the rest of your backyard so as not to draw extra attention.
When it comes to landscaping around your backyard pool, the options are practically limitless. Use your imagination, and get creative with both the plants you use and the layout. Focus on finding different ways to highlight certain aspects of your backyard space while downplaying others, and you’re sure to end up with a visually appealing, functional poolside retreat.