Landscaping around a pool can be a challenge and the best laid plans for a beautiful landscape can turn to disaster if not done right. As in all landscape designs you need to think about the future and what the pool area will look like months and years from now.
When I talk to clients in regards to their landscape needs I always like to ask if they have looked at any magazines or other landscapes that they like so I can get an idea about what they like. Usually they will show me an article from a magazine that will show a nicely done landscape and they would like to have something similar to the particular article they have shown me. When we are talking about pool landscaping the challenge is to make sure landscape materials that are featured in the article will working the planting zone of my client.
The ideal poolside landscape would be one that has a large enough bed area to plant trees and color that will not effect the water in the pool. On one job I reviewed with a client the previous landscaper had planted Live Oak trees around the pool area when the house was built in beds that were only 36″ wide. Now 25 years later the trees are 15 to 20 feet tall and dropping acorns in the pool each year causing headaches for the pool cleaning company and the homeowner. Another client had a landscaper plant red crape myrtle trees along the back side of the pool, again in a bed 30″ in depth and reaching over to the pool”s water area. As you can imagine my client had red flowers all summer long in the pool water.
This is why I have my clients think about their landscape wants and ideas early in the planning stage so they will not be faced with removal of beautiful Live Oak trees or Crape Myrtle trees when the landscape is maturing.
So what plants can be planted around a pool area that would be maintenance free? At some point all plant materials need some type of maintenance so the trick is to have minimal maintenance that will result in minimal pool maintenance for the homeowner.
You can still plant trees around a pool but only if you have a large enough bed that is away from the water. Remember all trees will drop something sometime and you do not want that dropping to be in your pool water.
Planting a mix of annual color and perennials works well. One of my favorite plants is lantana. This annual comes in many colors and loves the heat and once established is drought tolerant. Zinnias also work well and will usually reseed and come back the following year. Heat tolerant coleus is nice to use. The color here can be found in the leaves. Make sure you get the sun tolerant coleus for full sun exposure. For a vine check out sweet potato vine. This vine will really spread and works well in full sun or half day sun. Comes in chocolate, bronze, red, lime and tricolor.
Perennial color should include hardy hibiscus and daylilies. Both come in several different colors. You might even think about using the hardy banana. This will give you that tropical look and fell at poolside. Cannas will also provide a nice look around a pool and are easy to maintain.
And do not forget native grasses which can provide a nice accent in the pool landscape. Remember once ornamental grasses are established they are low maintenance and drought tolerant for the most part.
Landscaping around a pool can be very rewarding with a plan and a vision of the future. Have fun with your design. Your pool is a relaxing part of your yard and needs to be enjoyed by you, your family and your friends. The best compliment is to have someone come up and tell you that they wished their poll landscape looked as good as yours.