A swimming pool can be more than just a recreational area; with the right landscape design and architecture, it can be a beautiful part – or even centerpiece – of a well-designed outdoor living area. Whether putting in a new pool or renovating an existing pool area, artistically designed landscaping can transform your pool area into an attractive outdoor space. However, like any specialized area in your yard, swimming pool landscaping takes special consideration. Below are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind when designing your swimming pool’s landscaping.
DON’T: Start Without a Plan
Like any artistic creation, your swimming pool’s landscaping deserves careful planning before you begin. Unless you happen upon a stroke of luck, randomly planting hodge-podge flowers and throwing up a few pieces of décor around the pool without forethought will likely not give you the attractive, artistic design you’re looking for. Carefully sketch out your design plans before beginning, and consider calling in a landscape design professional to take advantage of a professional’s creative vision.
DO: Consider Safety
Swimming pools can provide both beauty and hours of fun, but they can also present certain dangers if you don’t take the right precautions. If you have children or pets – or expect to have company who brings their children to visit – it’s strongly recommended that you install some kind of latching fence or barrier to keep them from falling in. Keep in mind that a safety barrier doesn’t necessarily have to be an eyesore; consider using decorative ornamental iron or intricately designed wood, or planting climbing vines such as jasmine or shrubs like dwarf yaupon holly bushes to decorate and/or camouflage the fence. The wrong flooring can also create a safety hazard, so make sure that any flooring in the immediate vicinity of the pool are anti-slip; there are a number of outdoor flooring options in tile, pavement, and stone that can be both attractive and safe.
DON’T: Forget Relaxation Areas
Sure, pools are great for exercise, play, and fun, but pool areas are also a popular area for lounging and socializing. You might consider adding a patio or deck space adjacent to the pool, or even a secluded grotto area near the water. Whether you choose to make built-in seating part of your design or simply leave ample room to add patio furniture, don’t forget the importance of giving people a way to sit, lounge, and relax by the tranquility of the water.
DO: Create Shade
For many homeowners, the opportunity to cool off in hot weather is one of the main attractions of a backyard swimming pool. What they might not consider is that the very time of year when they’ll use the pool the most – the hot summer months – heat can sometimes be overwhelming; this is especially true for non-swimmers, but even for those in the water can find the heat too much to handle in climates like North Texas. Canopies or large umbrellas as part of your outdoor area’s furniture can help provide a solution, while planting shade trees near the pool are another option to help keep cool.
DON’T: Opt for Deciduous Plants
As mentioned, shade trees can provide an area for your family and friends to cool off poolside. However, we recommend that you avoid choosing deciduous plants for this purpose; few things ruin the beauty of a pool area – or create more aggravation and work – than surrounding trees or bushes that shed their leaves each fall, dropping them right into the water. On this same note, you might also think twice about planting bushes or trees immediately next to your pool with berries that can fall and create a mess.
DO: Factor in Wildlife
When choosing the plants and flowers that will add color and life to your pool area, don’t forget to consider that they may attract more than your guests’ compliments – they may also attract surrounding wildlife, particularly if you make native plants part of your landscaping plan. This can have negative consequences, such as attracting bees to your outdoor living area, or creating breeding grounds for mosquitos in plants that hold standing water, like bromeliads. On the other hand, it can also seen as a benefit – planting a colorful butterfly garden could bring beautiful visitors that simply add to the beauty of the landscape, and certain plants even repel flies and mosquitos. The key is to consider the potential consequences of each plant, and choose wisely for the results you want.
Are you ready to transform your swimming pool into an artistic and inviting outdoor living area? Contact the landscape design experts at Scapes, Inc., and we can help you design the pool area of your dreams.