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6 Best Pool Landscaping Ideas For An Outdoor Retreat

If you fail to plan for the area around your pool during the initial design stages, you’ll probably have a lovely pool and an unsightly space around it. Your pool outdoor retreat will look beautiful with landscaping designs like decks, shade spaces, inviting seat areas, aromatic flowers and plants, beautiful lighting, and ornamental features.  

Sadly, I neglected to have a pool landscape design before constructing my pool. I learned the hard way that adding some of the elements I had in mind after building the pool was challenging. Don’t get me wrong, the pool and landscaping of my outdoor retreat look wonderful. However, I regret spending more money to fix the errors, and I don’t want you to fall into the same pit

In this article, I share some cool pool landscaping ideas and ground cover choices around your pool. I’ve also got answers to some often-asked questions about pool landscaping, so do yourself a favor and read to the end of the article. 

Cool Pool Landscaping Ideas

Let’s start with the factors you should consider when developing an ideal pool and landscape design. 

  • Actual space of the area
  • Drainage and flooding 
  • Sun exposure
  • Soil analysis
  • Maintenance required 

Now that you have an idea of the main factors to consider when deciding the style of landscaping you will go with, here are the ideas in detail. 

Plants and Flowers: Create A Paradise 

When landscaping a pool, consider planting flowers, herbs, succulents, ornamental grasses, bug repellants, orchids, and banana leaf plants. 

You can use a variety of planters to enhance the attractiveness of the pool area. Unique planters will give your pool area style. They could be synthetic or natural. 

You don’t need to plant exclusively near the pool. Create a tropical mood by putting some plants directly in the pool’s center. Look for colorful, vibrant plants that will enhance the water in your pool. Combine various colors and textures to avoid the scenery around your pool becoming boring. Some popular flowers with vibrant colors include 

  • Hibiscus
  • The Bird of Paradise,
  • Hydrangeas,
  • Angela’s Trumpets 
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Canna
  • Bougainvillea

You can have privacy and beauty by surrounding your property or swimming pool with tall trees or thick shrubs. Most people prefer a pool, where they can swim and have fun without being watched by strangers. Your kids, particularly your teenagers, will love it even more.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that unfenced pools cause the deaths of almost 300 children under five years annually. Therefore, take into account pool barriers that are both useful and attractive. 

Pool Deck: Extend Your Living Space 

A pool deck is a good option for a low-maintenance pool landscape design. The benefit of pool decks is that they are more convenient and affordable than paving. It can also be an outdoor extension of your living space. 

A solid, waterproof timber deck is an ideal choice. They are lightweight and easier to install than stone. Additionally, it is simpler to cut little pieces of timber to fit precisely around tricky corners. 

Concrete, natural stone, and unglazed tiles are a few alternative options for pool decking. 

Seating Area: Invite People To Spend Time

It’s not advisable to use regular chairs in this situation. Consider a hammock or swing that can lull you to sleep as you relax after a swim. You can get a complete model with a stand or hang it from two sturdy trees or poles. A soft landing made of grass or another suitable ground cover should be beneath the hammock or hanging swing. Avoid gravel for obvious reasons.  

A chaise lounge is another option for a seating area beside your pool. Most comprise all-weather mesh fabric, aluminum frames, wicker, or rattan. Consider a pool lounge where you can dip your toes in the water. 

Adirondack chairs, outdoor bistro sets, outdoor sofas, and sectionals are good options, especially when you have pool parties. 

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03/07/2024 01:10 pm GMT

Shade Area: Keep Your Outdoor Retreat Cool 

Consider having some shaded spots when pool landscaping

Below are some shade area types for your outdoor retreat: 

  • The cabana is a wonderful addition to the landscaping around your pool. You’ll need a cool place for sunbathing after your swim.
  • Use the shade the trees or shrubs provide if you have them near your pool. They offer great protection while also giving you a small dose of the sun If necessary, you can also trim it back. 
  • Another fantastic alternative for shade is a temporary canopy. When having an event, they form spectacular and fun structures. It is a straightforward structure using tent poles, guy ropes, and a canopy. Set up a candy-striped canopy the next time you host a kid’s party by the pool!
  • A pergola is another great option. Think about putting greenery on your pergola’s roof to provide shade. Consider climbing plants that are not particularly vigorous to avoid going out of control and harming your pergola’s structure. 
  • Another alternative for sun protection is a parasol, which has qualities similar to those of an umbrella. The difference is that an umbrella shields you from the rain, and a parasol shields you from the sun. 

Decorative Features

Water features’ aesthetic appeal has lasted the test of time. They never go out of style. A fountain with a fall or splash is preferable to a quieter pour-over design if you reside in a busy location and would like to hush out the noise from traffic. 

Water bowls, fountains, cascades, spouting statues, spa spillways, spouts, and rain curtains are a few of the most popular water features. 

Incorporate stunning artwork, such as sculptures, into the landscaping around your pool. Sculptures made of stone or metal have an impressive appearance and are excellent focal points for your outdoor retreat. Since stainless steel doesn’t corrode easily, it is the perfect material for outdoor metal sculptures. 

Lighting: The Ideal Finishing Touch 

Lighting is the ideal finishing touch for any pool landscaping design. It draws attention to specific elements and areas surrounding the pool. Therefore, as you design your pool, have a well-thought-out lighting strategy.  

The interior of your pool can have various lighting features. Run a color-changing LED strip along the rill where the water emerges if your pool has a little water fountain or cascades. Direct water spotlights are another option on the flowing water base. Use fiber optic, LED, or halogen for underwater lighting, but they must be encased in waterproof, IP-rated fixtures. 

Stretch the lights above the length of the pool via your pool house as an anchor point. Alternatively, you can install a wooden pole and fill the bottom of whiskey barrel planters with cement to provide a semi-permanent anchor point for lighting. 

While you can use LEDs for general lighting, why not add lanterns with candles, tiki torches, or outdoor fireplaces instead? You can also use solar bulbs tucked between shrubs or potted plants to generate a subtle glow.

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03/07/2024 01:14 pm GMT

What Is A Good Ground Cover Around Pools?

Always take flooring options into account when developing a pool and landscaping design. You want a non-slip surface around the pool to stop your pool swimmers from sliding. A smooth surface is preferable to prevent painful cuts on the feet. 

Grass is a suitable option for the pool’s surrounding ground cover. It reduces dust around your pool area. Water it frequently to encourage deep-root growth, making it suitable for withstanding stomping. Water also removes any chlorine that accumulates on the grass. 

Consider its alternatives if you’re worried that chlorine will damage your plants and flowers.

You won’t have to worry about mowing, pruning, and clearing debris if you plant suitable grass. Here is a summary of the best types of grass to grow close to your pool. 

Best grasses to plant near pools
Tiftuff Bermuda grassSalt tolerant, and plush even after heavy traffic, can flourish in the sun and shade while growing slowly.
Zoysia grassIs drought-resistant, salt-tolerant, can withstand stomping, and grows swiftly.
MossIt grows low, saving you from mowing, and is ideal for humid conditions.
Buffalo grassHigh traffic tolerance and low watering requirements. Perfect if you live somewhere warm.
LilyturfLively and drought-tolerant but not able to handle heavy traffic. Therefore, this is not the most suitable type of grass if you have pets or children.

Another option is concrete flooring. It retains heat, remains resilient, and is simple to clean. Concrete is cheaper, and you can add some greenery by placing potted flowers wherever you want. 

Paving slabs are another popular choice for pool landscaping. Since they are easily accessible as separate bricks in various colors, shapes, and sizes, you can arrange them differently. They are inexpensive, easy to obtain, and don’t need much work. 

Check out the YouTube video below from the Charmie Johnson Vlog on pool landscaping using marble chips. 

What to Put Under an Inflatable Pool?

You must be cautious with the flooring if you plan to have an inflatable pool for your children next to the main pool. You can install an inflatable pool on a deck, grass, dirt, gravel, or cement surface. The best option, though, is cement. But sadly, because of its rough surface, concrete will eventually cause the pool liner to tear. 

You can use the following materials to put under an inflatable pool resting on concrete. 

TarpaulinA large sheet of heavy-duty, waterproof material, typically polyester or tarred canvas.
Sturdy and resistant to water damage.
Before assembling the pool, spread and smooth the tarpaulin.
You can additionally use it to cover the pool.
It only works well if the concrete is level.
Heavy, difficult-to-pack material.
Pool liner padsMade from geotextile material, typically thick felt. It is a sturdy material that does not retain moisture, making it durable.
Also known as a rhino pad or a gorilla pad.
Not easily torn by rocks or insects.
Acid, mold, and mildew resistant.
Replace it when it becomes brittle.
Solid foam sheetMade of polyurethane and polystyrene.
As some are only intended for indoor use, ensure it is rated for outdoor use.
Doesn’t slip around on the concrete.
The cost and complexity of cutting increase with foam thickness.
Comes in different thick sizes.
Foam interlocking tilesSquare, soft, and water-repellent.
Made of high-density polyethylene and EVA foam, and comes in various colors.
Connect each mat’s main components or teeth for a suitable size.
The joint seams make it impossible for moisture and mold to build up.
It’s inexpensive, simple to assemble, and easy to disassemble for packing.
They are lightweight and simple to cut and resize.
Unfortunately, even with the pool set, it can easily disconnect.
If you have a huge pool, it might get quite costly.


Pool decks, flowers, plants, decorative features, lighting, and a seating and shade space are some of the most popular landscaping ideas for an outdoor pool retreat. The flooring surrounding your pool will help enhance the appeal of the area. Consider your preferences among the numerous possibilities, like concrete, grass, and paving slabs. 


What are some key elements to consider when designing a pool landscape?

One key element to consider when developing a pool landscaping design is the kind of soil in your yard to help you determine whether to plant flowers and other plants directly or use planters. Knowing the soil type will help you choose the most suitable grass ground cover. 

The size of the area you are landscaping, another critical element, will help you know if there is enough room to include decking, seating, and shade areas.

How can a well-designed pool and landscape enhance the overall aesthetic of a property?

By ensuring everything is in its appropriate place, a well-designed pool and landscape improve the appearance of a property. Following a swim, individuals can unwind by lying in the shade or sitting in the seating area. 

Plants resistant to bugs ensure that no bothersome insects fly over your pool and make you uncomfortable. 

What are some low-maintenance options for pool landscaping that require minimal upkeep?

LED lighting, artificial grass, concrete, pavers, and some water features are a few of the low-maintenance features that require minimal maintenance. 

How can professional pool and landscape designers help create a unique and functional outdoor space?

Professional landscape and pool designers can help you with a site analysis and provide advice regarding the practicality of your plans.  They can tell you if your budget, for instance, is sufficient to build a deck because they are familiar with costs.  

They can advise you on the best trees, shrubs, and plants suitable for your area.


  • Josh Callagan

    Josh Callagan is a seasoned swimming pool specialist and a prominent authority in pool maintenance and water management. With several years of hands-on experience in the swimming pool industry, Josh profoundly understands the intricacies involved in pool design, construction, and maintenance.

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