Inground Pool Landscape IDEAS
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Pool Landscaping

Inground Pool Landscape IDEAS

Plants around the perimeter of the yard create poolside privacy.

An inground pool acts as an outdoor oasis in your own yard and the landscaping around it requires special considerations. Besides being part of a visually pleasing place of respite, the landscaping must be practical, safe and sustainable for both the pool area and those using it. Flowering plants which attract bees, for example, are not a good idea too near the pool and safe walkways which swimmers can use without tracking organic matter into the pool are a must.

Stepping Stones and Walkways

If the cement perimeter around your inground pool flows directly into your lawn, or if swimmers have to walk through grass or dirt to get to the pool, grass clippings and organic debris stuck to the bottoms of feet will find their way into the pool. Wet feet will also track the dirt back into the house or changing area, leading to continual mess cleanup and pool maintenance. Stepping stones or a slate walkway covering the most natural path to the pool will keep both pool and home debris to a minimum, as well as providing a point of visual interest through the yard. Choose flat stones which are visually attractive and smooth for swimmers’ feet. A few small statues or groupings of garden art along a lengthy path add a curious, creative air to the yard.

Tricky Spaces Around the Pool

Since a pool can take up a majority of a yard, there often seems to be a bit of unused space at the perimeter, along a fence or building. Rather than letting it grow wild or dealing with mowing near the pool – stirring up grass clippings and dust near the pool – landscape these borders with polished river rocks. These stones are available in multi-colored packages or in monochromatic color schemes to match the decor of your pool area. They are smooth enough to step on and won’t be damaged by the chlorine in pool water.

Water Features

If your poolside area is large and contains visually empty areas not being used by swimmers or sunbathers, water features can continue the relaxing atmosphere of your pool area. With a large budget, a waterfall over boulder-sized rocks flowing directly into the pool creates a wow factor that simulates a natural waterfall and swimming area. For a modest budget, small fountains or miniature ponds fitted with pumps and rocks can recreate the waterfall environment, adding the sound of running water to your poolside paradise. The running water creates an air of relaxation while sunbathing or reading near the pool. Birdbaths set a distance away from the pool and groupings of garden art near the water features create pockets of visual interest.


Privacy is a key element for most inground pools, especially if neighboring properties are close. A large privacy fence around the perimeter of the property and typically two or three sides of the pool will keep out wandering eyes and unwanted pool guests while you’re away. Check local regulations before installing such a fence, as some cities have regulations about maximum fence height and specific rules for pools. Tall evergreen shrubs and plants which act as natural privacy barriers are another option. Tall potted plants can also create spots of privacy, as well as visual interest in corners and can be moved at will.

Seating and Lighting

Part of the pleasure of an inground pool is the relaxing environment around it. Ample comfortable seating – both reclining chairs and chairs around tables – give guests a place to unwind while not in the pool. Subdued landscape lighting provides a private, intimate atmosphere at night while offering enough light for those using the pool to see well.