landscaping around your pool

Above: Pretty plain. Simplicity is the key to successful landscaping around the pool. Here the pool has been positioned close to a wall enclosing the pool area and timber decking used as a surround. There is little room for planting; a narrow bed has been incorporated along the edge and a trellis erected to allow creepers to establish themselves. Pots planted with pansies introduce color.

Add Style and Interest to Your Pool Area by
Making Landscaping Around the Pool a Lifestyle Experience

Interior design trends come and go, so it should come as no surprise that swimming pool trends also change from time to time. This relates not only to the pool itself, but to the landscaping around the pool as well as adjacent garden areas too. The good news is that it is relatively easy to change your landscaping approach and quickly make landscaping around your pool a lifestyle experience.

The international swimming pool industry is a relatively young industry, having been founded not much more than three or four decades ago. But in that time swimming pool design has developed and changed enormously.

Initially, pools were square or rectangular in shape (described by some pool builders of the time as ‘coffins’) and at best surrounded by some type of hard surface – although usually not much of it. As brick paving became increasingly popular, this material became an obvious choice for pool surrounds and one that was used for hard landscaping throughout the garden.  As other materials, including non-slip tiles and simulated stone products, have become available, the options have increased.

Generally, we have also become more aware of outdoor aesthetics and the value of landscaping around the pool.

The average pool (if there is such a thing any more) tends to be considerably smaller than those of yesteryear.  Where rusticity and a natural look is preferred, rockeries and waterfalls are often incorporated in the design, in or around the pool. Planting is lush and plentiful and the hard surfaces become practical areas where chairs and tables may be placed and used for entertaining. But any pool should also form an integral part of your garden design and it should be modelled to complement your lifestyle.

For landscaping around the pool to succeed, careful thought and planning are essential. It is not just a question of setting out the area, laying the surround, establishing a lawn and planting a few shrubs and flowers. You also need to consider adjacent areas where you can build patios and seating, as well as suitable spots to plant trees for shade and create screens which will protect the pool from wind. You may also want to incorporate complementary structures including built-in braais, gazebos and pergolas.

Try to take an environmental and holistic approach which will result in the creation of a setting which will suit the needs of you and your family.

Pool with planted wall makes landscaping around your pool work
Planted wall. Newly planted shrubs along the boundary of a small garden will eventually hide the vibrecrete wall and develop into an attractive backdrop for the pool.

Harmony

A successful pool landscape will combine a variety of elements which are pleasing to look at.. Whatever style pool you choose, the final impression should be a unified whole which is well balanced.

Square and rectangular pools generally invite a formal approach to garden design and landscaping, with well proportioned features (including planters, pots and seating) placed in a symmetrical way. A freeform pool usually looks best in a garden with curved beds and rockeries.

A theme often helps to link individual elements, in which case even a variety of features can complement one another quite successfully.

Variety

Walk in beach pool with rockery shows how landscaping around your pool works
Rock pool. A tiny beach pool with a ramp leading into it (rather than steps) has been built to mimic a rock pool rather than the typical beach effect the campany is best known for. Plants provide a backdrop and soften the effect. on one side while grass is allowed to grow to the edge of the simulated stone edging on all other sides.

The importance of a unified pool landscape should not underestimate the value of variety. There needs to be a reasonable diversity of features, materials and plants to create interest.

Just as a good interior design scheme relies on a balanced combination of colour, pattern and texture, so too does any well designed garden, including the pool area. In fact a pool, more than anything, will benefit from an interesting backdrop and in this way make landscaping around your pool work well.

Proportion

Also remember that all elements of the landscape, particularly your swimming pool, must be in proportion to one another and in proportion with the house and garden.

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