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Although landscape design for pools is often an exercise in aggravation, it does not have to be. Here are our top ten ideas for creating a secluded haven that will provide you with years of poolside enjoyment. 

Say no to messy plants and trees. 

You don’t want cone, needle, leaf, fruit, or flower fragments to fall into your pool or blemish the appearance of your deck or concrete patio. Larch trees, willow, poplar, black walnut and fruit trees are just a few tree species to eliminate from your consideration. 

Avoid Thorny Plants

You don’t want to be playing a game of thorns, especially with swimmers and their exposed flesh near the pool. Lovely roses, colorful bougainvillea, barberry, pyracantha, and luscious blackberry plants all have thorns or stickers. Cacti and succulents should be added to the list as well.  Don’t you think it’s likely for your youngster to inadvertently run into a rose bush?

 Plant for privacy, but not for shade.

If you want to swim earlier and later in the year, make sure your pool is getting as much sun as possible; don’t plant trees near it or stick to small-leafed plants such as serviceberries. Wait until the root structure is strong enough before transplanting. Wait at least two weeks after planting a cutting to give it time to establish itself in your garden.  

 Plant with the future in mind
We all want instant gratification, but when it comes to landscaping, impatience may result in an overgrown landscape and plants that are too close to your pool and other structures at maturity. Consider the full-grown height and width of your plants before you buy them. 

Choose chlorine-tolerant plants.

Chlorine-tolerant plants should be planted around the area. Ground covers like ivy are hardy in places like southern Ontario and are recommended for similar environments. All plants should be at least a meter away from the splash zone. 

Choose people-friendly plants.

Wasps will be drawn to your fruit trees. Flowers that are intensely colored attract bees. Roses have thorns, and some ornamental grasses might have sharp leaves that inflict a paper cut on skin exposed to them. Some plants’ fruits are poisonous. Choose plants with unique foliage rather than blooms or plants that don’t attract bees, such as foxglove, geraniums, zinnias, and mums. 

Don’t forget winter interest.

Vinca minor, gardenias, and plants with unusual bark are just a few possibilities. 

Design for drought.

Concrete that is dark in color, or a deck, will absorb heat and pass it on to surrounding plants, so choose drought-resistant plants. Drought tolerance can be determined by looking at a plant’s leaves; small, thick, waxy leaves lose less water in hot weather than large, thin leaves. 

Know your roots

Even though you might have the most diligent pool cleaner on staff, your pool’s structure may be jeopardized by deep-rooted plants like willows, poplars, sumacs, maples, birches, and species with strong roots such as wisteria.

 Plan for maintenance.

Filters must be emptied, and the pool should be drained in order to avoid dousing plants with a lot of chlorinated water, so consider where those activities will take place before laying out your yard.

 Cut (out) the grass.

Even if you think the grass clippings will be far enough away from the pool, they will wind up in it. Plus, wouldn’t you rather swim than mow? 

Choosing plants to border a swimming pool requires study, thought, and time. It’s not simply a question of planting whatever you think will look nice next to the pool. Some plants, particularly trees, may shed into the water, creating a huge mess. Others might have thorns or spikes that could harm swimmers. Certain vegetation might develop invasively.  

Living in a warm climate offers a greater range of plant options than many areas, but landscape contractors near a swimming pool still have the same fundamental concerns. Follow these guidelines and suggestions to make the best decisions possible. 


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