Deciding on the plants you will position around your swimming pool will take careful planning and research. It’s not simply a matter of planting whatever is pleasing to the eye. You also need to take into account what plants or trees can shed into your pool (thereby becoming major cleaning headaches) no matter how attractive they may seem, and which ones are more appropriate, aesthetically pleasing and low maintenance.
Each homeowner may have different landscaping goals for their pool. But no matter how you intend to design the pool landscape, you should aim to:
- Prioritize privacy
- Consider what is low maintenance
- Minimize cleanup requirements
If you’re looking to beautify the area around your pool, you need to take note of the following factors says a professional swimming pool landscaper.
1. Low maintenance plants
The function of your swimming pool landscape should enhance surroundings and set the mood for you to relax rather than take a huge amount of your time. You wouldn’t want to spend your free time fertilizing and trimming your landscape especially if doing so will make it hard to access the pool.
The key to a low maintenance pool landscape is to keep it simple. By selecting the right plants, you can truly enjoy the scenery as well as swimming in the pool.
- Avoid plants that shed – Fruit and flower-bearing trees may look delightful to the eyes. Unfortunately, they can create a huge mess when their flowers, fruits, or leaves fall into the pool. Flowers and fruits mean additional work for you or the cleaner you hire.
- Stay away from rose bushes – You don’t want a rose bush near the pool since they can hurt or scratch exposed flesh. A child sliding or running into a rose bush will not be a good sight. Besides roses, forget about cactii, succulents, bougainvillea, as well as blackberry bushes.
2. Shade close to the pool
By having a good shade near your pool, you won’t need to suffer swimming under extreme heat. The shade will also make your outdoor area more comfortable to hang around. Just make sure that your shade won’t cover the entirety of the pool as you won’t be able to enjoy swimming with it completely shutting out the view.
3. Insect and pest control
In most gardens, bees are usually welcome. However, if you have a pool around, this can be a problem especially if you have kids.
There are certain flower species that attract insects and other pests. Talk to your landscaper and do away with these types of plants.
Below are some examples of bee-loving plants:
- Queen Anne’s lace
- Sweet clover
4. Invasive roots
If you place trees and other plants with invasive roots near your pool, they can end up damaging the pool structure. Not only that, invasive roots can also cost you tons of money in plumbing repairs. Plants which have invasive roots include elm, ficus, and oak trees – do your research before planting anything.
5. Growth size
When you choose plants for your swimming pool landscape, follow the “smaller is better” philosophy. Be aware that not all plants that start out in a four-ounce pot will remain relatively small. Always check for information so you know what plants you are getting.
Local botanical gardens or nurseries usually have plants that are native to an area. This means that these plants are able to adapt well to the climate. It may be tempting to get an exotic banana tree from some website, but you will only be wasting your money if it isn’t suitable for the climate in your region.
When in doubt, you can always consult a local nursery for plants that thrive well in your location and can be planted near your pool.
Check the perimeter of your pool and see if there are any exposed views. If you don’t ensure the privacy of pool users, you will feel like you’re swimming in a fishbowl relaxing in your swimsuit in full view of your neighbors. Begin at the fence line, then landscape your way in while incorporating various layers and heights.
8. Swimming pool landscaper
If you want your swimming pool landscape to look exactly the way you want it to (within reason), you should consider hiring a professional landscaper. They have the knowhow to alter and arrange the features of your yard to fit your lifestyle and needs. And contrary to what others believe, hiring a landscaper isn’t always expensive; they can work around the budget you have as long as it’s reasonable.
Install your pool with a plan in mind
It goes without saying that your surrounding landscape should blend in with your swimming pool. However, for that to happen, you need to have a full understanding of what the project will entail.
For instance, if you need to move your pool, you might need to hire a crane to do so, or simply partner with a professional pool landscaper to take care of everything for you.
Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company’s Construction, Interiors and Civils Division.