Let’s be honest – there are a lot of ugly above ground pools out there. But that doesn’t mean yours has to be. One of the simplest and most effective things you can do to improve the looks of your pool is to landscape around it with attractive rocks and plants.
But landscaping around your pool isn’t just about appearance. It can also provide shade and privacy for swimmers, make it easier to mow the area, and even reduce the wear and tear on your pool. Along with a pool deck, landscaping is simply a must-have if you’re keeping your above ground pool for the long haul.
Of course, before you can put the perfect landscaping in place, you need a plan. To get you started, we’ve put together a list of some of the best above ground pool landscaping ideas. With these tips, you’re well on your way to a good-looking pool.
General Landscaping Ideas
There are no hard-and-fast rules to landscaping around an above ground pool. On the contrary, there are many different approaches, and plenty of room for disagreement. Having said that, here are a few tips that might prove helpful:
1. Blend it with the surroundings
Above ground swimming pools tend to stick out, and not in a good way. The main goal of any landscaping effort should be to make the pool seem like a more natural part of your backyard environment, rather than something that was simply plopped down in a random spot. That could mean surrounding it with the same types of plants you have growing in your yard, or just matching up colors.
2. Don’t rush it
Landscaping may a no-brainer for an above ground pool, but it doesn’t have to be there on day one. If you’re not sure what kind of landscaping you want, or can’t afford the landscaping you know you want, you can always leave it for later. As you start spending time around your pool, it’s likely that ideas for landscaping will come naturally.
3. Take care in what you put around a soft-sided pool
Depending on the type of pool you have, you may have to exercise caution in your choice of rocks and plants to use near the pool. Sharp rocks could puncture the vinyl liner of a metal frame or quick set pool, and roots can create ripples in the bottom.
4. If it’s a new pool, consider building a retaining wall or digging into a slope
Finding or creating level ground for your new above ground pool isn’t just a chore – it’s also an opportunity. Many of the most attractive above ground pool areas feature a retaining wall or a partially buried pool.
5. Look around for photos that inspire you
Fortunately, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to landscaping. You can search the internet to see what others have done, and use whatever you like. Here’s a Pinterest board we created for above ground pool landscaping photos:
Ideas For Landscaping Materials
A big part of landscaping – whether it’s for an above ground swimming pool or some other project – is selecting the right materials. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Surround your pool completely
Without landscaping, the bottom edge of a pool tends to become muddy and/or overrun with weeds. Besides, it just looks bare and unpleasing to the eye. So, make sure you have a border area of mulch or rock around any sections of the pool that aren’t connected to a deck.
2. Make a pathway to your pool using patio blocks or pavers
Having pathways leading up to your pool connects it to other parts of the yard (literally) and adds a sense of permanence. It can also reduce the amount of grass and dirt that gets tracked into your pool.
3. Choose between mulch and rock
Mulch is cheap, easy to handle, and ideal for growing plants. Rock – including the ever-popular river rock – is more decorative and doesn’t need to be replaced as often. There are other pros and cons to consider, so make sure you do your homework and make the right choice for your pool area.
Ideas For Plants and Trees
Many people choose to surround their pools with some type of landscaping rock and leave it at that. But for others, plants and trees are essential for an attractive and inviting pool area. Here are three quick tips on choosing the right plants:
1. Consider small evergreen bushes
Evergreen bushes are a popular choice for above ground pools, as they provide good coverage that lasts year-round. For more lushness and flair, you can always add a layer of more colorful plants.
2. Incorporate potted plants
Potted plants can look right at home around an above ground pool, and have the advantage of being movable. That gives you the option of bringing them in during the winter, or adjusting their location for whatever reason.
3. Plan for the future
Tiny trees have a way of growing into big trees – sometimes really big trees that shade your pool and constantly drop leaves into the water. Some plants also have root systems that can spread out under a pool and create ripples in the liner. Point is, you should know how a plant is going to grow in the coming years before you put it in the ground.
When it comes to above ground pool landscaping, there are really too many possibilities to cover in one article. In the end, it’s up to you to decide what you like and what works for your yard. We hope you’ve found an idea or two here that gets you closer to figuring that out.