12 Jul 2012

Landscaping Around a Swimming Pool – Soft vs. Hard

Posted by bcsands

Planning the landscaping around your swimming pool is important because your pool is much more than just a place for the kids to play. If you also entertain guests there, or generally spend a lot of time there, you will want to give careful consideration to what type of landscape you want.

If the concept of “soft” and “hard” landscaping is new to you, read on to find out some of the key differences between the two types:-


Soft Landscaping around a Swimming Pool

This is the more common landscaping option, and it is mainly because people like having water and plants together, it is somehow very satisfying to create an oasis around their pool area. It’s your choice as to the degree to which to take the landscaping.

  • First Degree: This is the low maintenance version where you plant a grove of palms or other evergreen trees around the pool area to provide a “tropical” look. If you have a waterfall, you can also plant climbing evergreens or creepers over the rocks on either side of the actual waterfall and allow some to droop into the pool.
  • Second Degree: In addition to the palms or evergreen trees, you can add large pot plants with colourful annuals that are replaced every year, or perhaps plants with colourful leaves such as bromeliads or some aloes. The pot plants can be rearranged as the seasons change or as you decide to re-plant them.
  • Third Degree:  Raised garden beds close to the pool, filled with large evergreen leafy plants such as delicious monster, elephant ear or any other plants with non-invasive root systems. (Check with your nursery or garden supplier to find out which ones to avoid).
  • All the Way! For the keen gardener who loves to potter around and doesn’t mind cleaning up excess leaves in the pool, in addition to groves of trees, large pot plants or long planter troughs can be placed very close to the edge of the pool to give a jungle look.


Hard Landscaping Around a Swimming Pool

At the other end of the scale is hard landscaping. This is where there little or no vegetation is used at all. This may sound unappealing, but if done well, hard landscaping can look spectacular. Here there are also degrees to which you can take this idea:-

  • First Degree: Use brick paving in different colours and patterns along with aggregates such as blue metal and pebbles to create a beautiful, maintenance free landscape.
  • Second Degree: To create a useful, friendly area around the pool, build a “Bali Hut” style cover with a thatched roof and a relaxing, comfy interior using big cushions and low tables.
  • Third Degree: Build a deck all the way around the pool using composite material or wood. Then at one end build a patio or pergola and place some deck chairs and perhaps even a small bar inside.
  • All the Way! Construct an outdoor kitchen area. This is done by building an area that is open at one end and closed at the back. It is made from the same construction materials as is was used for the house and has a built-in barbeque, bench top and sink.

Whatever option you choose to landscape around your swimming pool, your efforts will be rewarded with getting the atmosphere just the way you like it.

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