Swimming Pool Blog

pool landscape with small plants

What to Look for in Pool and Landscape Design

Imagine walking through your sliding doors into your backyard for a dip in your new sparkling pool. The water shimmers. It’s the ideal temperature outside. And you have the perfect backyard oasis: a beautiful pool and landscape design to match. It may sound like a dream, but it can be a reality with some research and the right pool builder.  

Don’t stop at a pool. Great landscaping can transform your backyard into a personal paradise. It can add life to your yard, expand its daily use, and make your pool time even more fulfilling. Read on to learn more about how great pool and landscape design can help you create the backyard of your dreams. 

The Importance of Pool and Landscape Design  

If you already have a pool in your backyard or you’re thinking of installing one, landscaping is a key element to consider. Not only does it add beauty and ambiance, but it increases your home value. One mistake is to think of it as an add-on or optional aspect of pool installation. In truth, good landscaping offers so many benefits that you should incorporate it into your planning process as early as possible.  

A few tips to consider include: 

  • Keep it low maintenance 
  • Less is more 
  • Incorporate shade 
  • Add outdoor lighting 

Choose Low Maintenance Landscaping 

Unless you’re able to have a gardener take care of your backyard regularly, you will want to select landscaping options that don’t require much work on your part. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time in your backyard trimming bushes, sprinkling fertilizer, and changing out plants each season. 

By choosing the right plants, you can spend more time swimming and enjoying the outdoors. Work with your landscaper or nursery to pick low-maintenance plants. Evergreens and perennials work best. Many of these types of plants only require yearly pruning and minimal upkeep. 

Select Landscaping That Doesn’t Overwhelm 

When you’re choosing greenery, less is more. Sometimes excessive landscaping can overwhelm a pool area. By taking a minimalist approach to your pool landscape design, you’ll create a lush poolside appearance to enjoy without it detracting from the pool. 

The benefits of minimalism also extend to maintenance. A more minimal pool and landscape design will often require less care to maintain.  

Create a Shaded Area 

Any outdoor relaxation area should plan for shade. A backyard pool is no exception. In fact, the recreational activities that a pool provides can make a shaded area particularly important. 

After time in the pool, swimmers and others need an area to cool off and escape from the heat and UV rays. The same goes for those lounging around the pool.  

Incorporate shade in your pool and landscape design. For example, you can incorporate a table with a large umbrella or work in a canopy pergola. You can also plant trees for shade near the pool or include both to keep everyone cool. Work with a pool builder with professional landscaping services to help you choose and locate appropriate trees that will not make a mess on your deck or in your pool.

Related: 7 Stunning Pool Remodel Ideas for Your Backyard Oasis

Install Lighting That Illuminates Your Pool Landscape 

There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy your pool and backyard after the sun sets. Installing creative lighting fixtures will keep your landscaping looking elegant long after the sun goes down. 

One option is to install lighting in the garden, including ground lights around paths. You can also place a spotlight on your favorite trees and architectural elements such as statues and wall hangings.  

To make your pool landscape design more exciting, place lighting in the pool area and the perimeter. With proper lighting, you’ll use the pool during more hours of the day, bringing new life to your investment and your backyard.  

What to Avoid in Pool and Landscape Design 

With so many great landscaping options available, it can be easy to include a little of everything. However, there are certain types of plants and other elements that you should avoid. They include: 

  • Prickly plants 
  • Greenery that sheds 
  • Invasive roots 
  • Plants that attract bugs 
  • Non-native plants 
  • Small, loose rocks 

Stay Away From Prickly Plants 

When looking for greenery, stay away from plants that prick. Rose bushes may be beautiful to look at, but they’re not much fun when your kids run around the backyard with their bare legs exposed. 

Avoid planting bushes with thorns: barberry, blackberry bushes, and bougainvillea, to name a few. Don’t forget cactus plants. They may not contain thorns, but their prickly points can hurt. 

Select Greenery That Doesn’t Shed Too Much 

While some evergreen trees require little maintenance, others shed often. Consider the evergreen Italian cypress. They are beautiful, but if you plant one near the pool, you’ll be raking and sweeping your patio more than you’d like.  

Not sure which plants shed? Call your local nursery or work with a pool builder with landscape design experts to learn the plants native to your area that shed the most. They’ll be able to advise you which leaves on trees and bushes shed annually. One quick call can make your life easier for years.  

Avoid Invasive Roots 

When considering pool and landscape design, It’s vital to avoid trees with invasive roots. They can damage your pool area and its structure, ruining your hard work and investment. Root systems can even damage the plumbing system around your pool. 

Trees with invasive roots include oaks, elms, and Ficus trees. Ask your pool builder, local nursery or master gardener before you plant or purchase those trees.  

Stay Away From Plants That Pests Love 

Think about the wildlife that visits your backyard before you purchase plants for your lush garden. Bees are beneficial for the planet, but they’re not great for pool areas. 

You don’t want your children or guests to get stung by a bee if you can avoid it. Here are some of the plants that attract bees

  • Cosmos 
  • Delphinium 
  • Columbine 
  • Salvia 
  • Oregano 
  • Wisteria 
  • Queen Anne’s lace 
  • Sweet clovers 
  • Larkspur 

Find Plants Native to Your Region 

You want to select plants for your garden and landscaping that will survive. For your best bet, choose plants that are native to your geographical area

You want them to last a long time and adapt well to your climate. While it may sound exciting to buy an exotic tree you discover online, remember that it may not work well in your region.  

If the plants you choose don’t thrive in your ecosystem, you’ll not only be wasting your money, but you’ll also be wasting time and effort you’ve invested in your landscaping. If you’re unsure about a specific plant, consult with your pool builder or local nursery for the best landscaping options that will survive in your yard and pool area.  

Related: Building a Desert Oasis: Creative Pool and Spa Designs in Las Vegas

Keep Rocks Away From the Pool Area 

Rocks, boulders, and gravel can be attractive. But you need to make sure the gravel doesn’t end up in your pool instead of your garden. When people and pets walk on gravel, it tends to move around. 

If you’d like to incorporate xeriscaping or a rocky feature, choose larger rocks and stones. They stay in place better, and you can still admire their beauty without the hassle of cleaning up when they shift. 

When using boulders, make sure they coordinate with the rest of your pool and landscape design. Stones should look like they belong in your design scheme. Be careful if you choose to stack boulders. They typically attract children who are eager to climb on and jump from them. Make sure your pool builder secures them so they won’t move.  

Pool and Landscape Design Revisited 

Keep these pool and landscape design tips in mind when creating the landscaping around your pool. Your pool design should be as functional, easy, and safe as it is beautiful. 
Looking for a truly artistic pool and landscape design that transforms your pool area into an oasis? At California Pools, we’ve got the vision and tools to create the perfect space for you and your family. Contact us today for the backyard of your dreams.