Pool Landscaping Ideas

By Tom Hoff
Lead landscape designer of Modern Landscape

There are many pool landscaping ideas for just about any situation. Swimming pools no longer occupy center stage in the landscape. They have slimmed down to fit into landscapes rather than overpower them.

The sun patterns in your landscape will help determine the pool's location. Wind is the next important factor, it can greatly affect the perceived warmth of a pool as it ripples across the water.

Because of its size you may not be able to make your pool completely private, but you'll probably want it secluded from neighbors. Although the pool doesn't need to be immediately adjacent to your house, there should be clear access to a changing room or bathroom.

There are many pool shapes other than rectangular, circular, and kidney shaped. Consider an alternative outline if yard is small or awkwardly shaped, or if you want to preserve a large tree or other landscape feature.

Plan on a paved area or deck surrounding or adjoining the pool. The surface should be nonskid and slightly sloped to drain away from the pool.

It's best to isolate lawns and planting beds from the pool otherwise, swimmers will drag plants and soil into the pool with each entry.

Nothing adds to the allure of the pool more than good lighting.

Pool Lighting and Landscaping Ideas

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The area around a pool is a harsh environment for plants, thanks to the combination of pool chemicals, strong sunlight, and hot concrete, and humidity. Take note of the plants that will do well in these condition.

How will your guests move from your house to pool to the broader landscape? Your options for surfacing paths and steps are even wider than for patios and decks. Keep loose materials such as gravel or wood chips well away from the pool, these can make pool maintenance a never ending task.

A water slide, waterfall or fountain can add drama, elegance, or just plain fun to your pool. As with plants, poolside furniture must take a lot of abuse, so choose materials that can tolerate the exposure to the water and sun. keep comfort in mind too.

Plants, arbors, cabanas, and shade sails all provide essential sun protection around the pool. In addition, an overhead structure will provide privacy from neighboring homes or apartments.

If a pool is part of your landscape plan, make sure your kids learn how to swim. Do your part to learn basic water rescue techniques, artificial respiration, and CPR.

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