Pool landscaping is easy for anyone to overlook. After all, the process of actually getting the pool in the ground feels much more important than deciding what plants you should grow around it. However, once the design is set and construction has begun, there are a myriad of designer-approved pool landscaping ideas you can consider to elevate its ambiance. Whether you live in a scalding climate or are blessed with serene weather, smart pool landscaping can help you take advantage of your natural resources and your space. Read on for 16 of the best pool landscaping ideas to turn your backyard into an oasis.
East Coast Hedges
Classic and sophisticated, low hedges are a neat way to frame different areas of the yard.
A row of evenly spaced box planters filled with identical blooms looks striking but is ultra low maintenance.
Soften sharp corners with a bed of wildflowers and other native plants. This landscape blends in but also creates a beautiful, intentional divide between your property and your neighbor’s.
Extra tall hedges can function like a fence or privacy screen. For an architectural touch, cut in angles or shapes.
Let your greenery lead guests exactly where they should go by planting path-framing bushes. The dramatic arch also lends this yard a Secret Garden feel.
In an ultra-hot climates (or for minimal maintenance), keep landscaping sparse. Succulents and cacti piled high in statement urns add just enough texture and color here.
Work with—not against—the terrain you’ve got. Here, Studio Shamshiri embraced the hillside above the pool by carpeting it with low, textural plants in tonal colors.
Low hedges can designate separate zones for entertaining and relaxing without obstructing anyone’s view of the pool.
Two palm trees not only cast shade, but also frame the magical view of the pool and ocean beyond it. They create a natural pool “entrance” too.
Moss or grass between pavers rather than grout or gravel makes for a more barefoot-friendly path to the pool. We love how this backyard’s designers worked around the big stone instead of removing it—it keeps things from feeling too polished or cookie cutter.
If unruly flora are just out of reach (or off your property), blend them in by planting rows of short and medium plants in front. A progression of heights instantly looks more cohesive.
A long, low row of lavender helps soften the transition from the sharp edge of this pool into the rolling hills and brings some soft color.
If an abundance of grass or green space isn’t your thing, try carving out a few holes in the deck for trees or planters. Not only will the green provide natural texture and shade, but it can also bring height and drama to an otherwise horizontal layout.
Climbing ivy is notorious for getting unruly rather quickly, but we love to see it when it’s used intentionally. This green screen offers privacy, shade, and a seamless natural backdrop.