Landscaping around your backyard pool should be a labour of love, not an exercise in frustration. Here are our top 10 tips for creating a private oasis that will give you many years of poolside enjoyment.
1. Say no to messy plants and trees.
You don’t want plant debris like cones, needles, leaves, fruit and flowers to drop into your pool or stain your deck or concrete patio. Species to take off your list include larch trees, willow, poplar, black walnut and fruit trees.
2. Plant for privacy, but not for shade.
You’ll want to maximize the sun exposure on your pool if you want to swim earlier and later in the season, so don’t plant trees close to the pool, or stick to smaller species, such as serviceberry. Choose dwarf varieties of larger plants, and prune when needed. Privacy plants include ornamental grasses and bushes such as ninebark, dogwood and cedars. You can also grow perennial climbing vines, such as clematis and hydrangea, up a chain link fence for privacy.
3. Plant with the future in mind.
We all want instant gratification, but when it comes to landscaping, impatience can result in an overcrowded landscape and plants that, at maturity, are too close to your pool and other structures. Consider the full-grown height and breadth of your plantings and plan accordingly
4. Choose chlorine-tolerant plants.
Even if you have a salt-water system in your pool, you’ll still need to plant chlorine-tolerant varieties. In southern Ontario, hardy plants include groundcovers like ivy. Keep all plants at least a metre from the splash zone.
5. Choose people-friendly plants.
Fruit trees will attract wasps. Brightly coloured flowers attract bees. Roses have thorns and some ornamental grasses have sharp leaves that can give bare skin the equivalent of a paper cut. Some plants have poisonous berries. Go for interesting foliage instead of flowers, or plants whose blooms aren’t pollinator-magnets, such as foxglove, geraniums, zinnias and mums.
6. Don’t forget winter interest.
Evergreens and plants with interesting bark are great options.
7. Design for drought.
Dark-coloured concrete or a dark deck will absorb heat, which will be transferred to nearby plants, so opt for drought-tolerant plants. A clue to drought tolerance is in a plant’s leaves; small, thick, waxy leaves will lose less water in a hot environment than large, thin leaves.
8. Know your roots.
Plants, especially trees, with deep root systems can compromise the integrity of your pool structure as they grow. Avoid willow, poplar, sumac, maple, birch and species with vigorous roots such as wisteria.
9. Plan for maintenance.
Emptying filters and draining the pool are tasks that can douse plants in large amounts of chlorinated water, so plan your landscaping with a knowledge of where those activities will take place.
10. Cut (out) the grass.
Grass clippings will get tracked into your pool, no matter how far you think that patch of golf green is from the poolside. Plus, wouldn’t you rather be swimming than mowing?
Ready to picture your paradise? Why not try our Backyard Builder?
How to throw the best winter pool party ever
How to throw the best winter pool party ever If you’re looking for an antidote to the winter blahs this year, why not host a winter pool party? Winter swimming is ideal for swim spas and plunge pools, which are better insulated than the average small inground pool. Follow these tips and your party … Continued
The best pool equipment products for 2020
Looking to upgrade you pump, filter, heater, chlorination system or pool cleaner? We’ve put together our list of the the best equipment in 2020.
7 ideas for throwing a big party when you have a small pool
Throwing a pool party with a smaller yard can be difficult. We’ve laid out 7 ideas to maximize your space and throwing an unforgetable pool party.
Top 10 tips for landscaping around a pool
From messy plants to maintenance, privacy to winter interest, we’ve picked out 10 of the best tips for pool landscaping and put them in this post!
Popular pool shapes with examples
Vinyl-lined pools can be made in any shape, but you’ll hear people talk about them in specific ways. Learn to speak the lingo with the examples in this post!
How to choose the right pool shape for your yard
Rectangle or Roman? Kidney or free-form? Lazy-‘L’ or Grecian? This article helps you choose the right pool shape for your particular yard, home and style.
Backyard pool vs. cottage: Cost comparison
Taxes to toys. Financing to furnishings. We compare some of the most important one-time and annual costs when it comes to owning that cozy cottage or the backyard pool of your dreams.
Vinyl-lined, fiberglass and concrete pools: We rate them all in this pros and cons chart
We make it easy to evaluate the pros and cons of different pool types, covering everything from upfront cost to swim experience. The more stars the better!
How to compare swimming pool quotes: 11 things to ask
When it comes time to decide who should install your backyard pool, ask these 11 questions to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.
14 inspiring pool designs your neighbours will be drooling over
Whether your style is more woodland retreat or modernist masterpiece, you’ll be inspired by these photos. The helpful captions will help you achieve the look!
These 8 photos prove you can swim all year round
Swimpools (aka swimspas or endless pools) are compact backyard pools that you can afford to heat all winter—and these photos prove it!
How to choose the perfect winter pool cover
Keep dirt, debris, kids, pets and more out of your pool during the off-season. Here are our tips for choosing the right cover for your pool and budget.
The inside scoop: Our Hydropool review
With a relationship that spans 40 years, if anyone should know about the quality of Hydropool products and customer service, it’s us. What mark do we give Hydropool? Read our Hydropool review!
6 amazing above ground swimpools
These 6 amazing swimpools prove that a pool doesn’t have to be inground to be gorgeous. Use these ideas to create your own year-round swim and soak oasis!
5 best pool financing methods (and one we don’t recommend)
Loan? Line of credit? Mortgage? Credit card? Here are the best pool financing strategies, based on our decades of experience helping families afford their backyard dreams.
Backyard pools on a budget: 8 ways to save money on pool installation
Get 8 tips to save money on pool installation, with the exact amount of cash you’ll pocket for each idea. You can afford your backyard dreams—find out how!
Battle of the solar covers: Solar blanket vs. liquid solar pool cover
What is a liquid solar pool cover and how does it compare to a traditional solar pool cover? Check out our pros and cons so you can make your own decision!
Cost comparison: Small pool vs. swimpool
We take a look at the costs to install a small inground pool compared to a swimpool (a small pool with a built-in hot tub). Which one fits your budget best?
Can I heat a swim spa with gas and 9 more questions people ask
What’s a swimpool? How fast does it heat up? What’s the hot tub part like? We fast-track your swimpool learning curve with these 10 questions and answers.