When most people are designing a pool, they don’t think about the landscaping. Their focus is more on the type of pool, the choice of tile, whether it’s in-ground or above-ground, its size and shape, and how much it will cost. They forget that the accessories surrounding the pool play a large role in swimmers’ enjoyment of the pool.
The first step to pool décor is pool design, and you should include a landscaper right from the beginning. While the average pool builder might emphasise the coping and pool liner options, a pool landscaper will take a wider view. They will consider the size and shape of the yard, how the water will work with plant life, and what the best pool position would be.
This doesn’t mean a commercial pool builder is superior to a landscaper concerning design. It simply means they have different priorities. Commercial pool builders think about things like sewers, distance from main roads, and water volumes. Landscapers are more concerned with aesthetics and environmental balance.
For this reason, as you’re choosing a company to install your swimming pool, find out whether they have a landscaper on staff, or whether they have a working partnership with one. Proper pool landscaping makes all the difference in the appearance and functionality of your swimming area. Done efficiently, landscaping adds beauty and privacy to your poolside.
One of the primary elements of poolside landscaping is plants. They give your pool the right mood, and can also partially hide your poolside view, giving you an extra element of privacy. Many pool owners want plants that provide their backyard with a tropical holiday feel. It reminds them of vacations in exotic venues.
Tropical plants tend to have large leaves and colourful flowers. These will attract bees, birds, and butterflies, adding to the tropical appeal of your pool area. Be sure to pick plants that don’t shed too much. This excess foliage will fall into the pool, overworking your pool filter, filling your skimmer basket, and giving you extra pool maintenance tasks.
Plants that are good for the poolside include heavenly bamboo, queen palms, euonymu, and papyrus. If you’re interested in colour, try the blue agapanthus, or the yellow bird of paradise. You could also plant lilies and hibiscus, which are both available in multiple colours. The arrangement, topiary, and pruning of your plants will direct your overall result.
In natural settings, plants are often surrounded by rock and stone. Use these to your pool’s advantage. You can use natural stone, such as marble or limestone, though these work better in the form of paving and grottos. You can also select rounded or jagged rocks and artfully position them among your plants, creating a carefully wild jungle feel.
The downside of natural stone is it’s quite heavy. It can be expensive to transport and position them, and they can cause injury if they slip or stub a swimmer. Artificial rock can be a viable option. It’s lighter cheaper, and kinder on your toes. The design of artificial stones has progressed a lot, and they can easily pass for natural ones if you lay them right.
Water features are another common choice. You could design an infinity pool with a waterfall at the edge, a fountain with steps at the entrance of the pool, a set of bubbling waterjets, a rivulet section that slips between a mini-bridge on your deck, or an interspersed design that divides the baby pool from the main pool.
We mentioned earlier that commercial pool builders are more interested in tile and coping. This is sometimes referred to as hardscape, and it’s just as important. Select hardscape options that fit your plant selection. For example, tropical pool plants would go well with sand-coloured paving. A minimalist, modern design can mix marble and pool ferns.
If you’re going more for the classic approach, you could grace your fountain with a marble statue and marble slabs for your pool deck. Shade is another important element of pool-scaping. The weather can get hot, and ironically, all that sun, stone, and evaporation can make the poolside area even hotter thanks to humidity and conduction.
For these reasons, it’s useful to have a shaded area around your pool. It could be a seating area with a canopy, an extended section of your home roofing, or tall trees that offer cool, sweet-smelling shadows. Whichever combination of pool décor your select, make sure the hardscapes are non-slip, and the plants are well tended to prevent pests and diseases.