There's More To It than Planting Flowers

Landscaping is about more than just planting a few flowers and bushes around your pool. It's about planning and creating a pool environment that’s easy to get to — and hard to leave. Your first step is to get inspired. It can be a movie, a native flower or a planter you just couldn’t resist. You can also find inspiration from different gardening styles. Just find ideas you love and build from there.

Swimming Pool with PergolaNext, design your deck and plan your walkways. After the pool itself, your deck is the foundation for your landscape design. Walkways are important, too — you want to make access to your pool area easy so your plants don’t get trampled.

Now it’s time to start planting! You’ll want to choose plants that will flourish in your geographic area, so check with your local nurseries before you buy. You can also enlist the help of a professional landscape designer. Either way, it helps to know the lingo and the common pitfalls to avoid.

With the right information, inspired ideas and, perhaps, a fabulous landscape designer, you’re on your way to creating a lush and beautiful environment that adds depth and color to your back yard — and more enjoyment to your pool. Love your view as much as you love your pool! For even more inspired landscaping ideas, visit

Backyars with swimming pool and trees

Plants and Trees

Plants and trees provide beauty and privacy around swimming pools. They soften the harsh lines of swimming pool equipment and help swimming pools blend more naturally with the surrounding environment.

If you grow plants that are tall enough, they will form privacy screens around the pool area. But plants must be chosen wisely. Strive for low-maintenance plants. For instance, you don't want large deciduous trees around swimming pools, as you will end up constantly fishing leaves out of the water. Even needle-bearing evergreen trees can be messy. A good alternative is a broadleaf evergreen such as holly. Avoid fruit trees: not only are they messy, but the fruit attracts bees. And as beautiful as flowers are, be aware that they, too, can be bee-magnets. Even worse, plants with invasive root systems can damage swimming pools over the years.

Remember to also make considerations if you have a saltwater pool. You will need to choose a salt-tolerant plant. A less-messy choice would be either a winterberry or a Bar Harbor juniper. Plant trees on the south side of the pool for added shade and a feeling of lush coolness. Remember to avoid shading the whole pool area so you’ll still have a place to sun yourself on cloudy days.