An above-ground pool can present a challenge for the home landscaper. The pool itself becomes a focal point in the backyard living space. Above-ground pools have visible equipment, often unattractive sides, and the added concern of chlorinated water splashing onto lawn surfaces. Incorporating a garden around the pool requires careful thought and planning. Ideas for low maintenance gardens for above-ground pools include container gardens, ornamental grass, rock and traditional flower gardens.
Container gardens work perfectly around above-ground pools for a number of reasons. The pot protects shrubs and flowers from pool water while concisely adding color to the landscape. Place a container with individual shrubs around the perimeter of the pool or group planters together to hide unsightly pool equipment. Container gardens filled with flowers add pockets of color to the landscape, softening the harsh lines of the pool. If you have decking, add a number of container gardens spaced around the wooden deck to create an elevated garden.
Ornamental grass adds a very understated decorative accent to the landscape around an above-ground pool. This type of garden creates a softened impression and works perfectly to hide equipment, ladders and the concrete pad supporting the pool. Grasses can be placed in containers or gravel to create a soothing impression around the pool. A bonus benefit to an ornamental garden lies in the extremely low-maintenance personality of these plants. A haircut in the early spring before opening the pool will have you floating on a raft relaxing rather than performing landscape maintenance. Gardeners should avoid pushing garden soil up against the side of the above-ground pool to limit degradation of the frame and pool sides.
Adding a rock garden around the expanse of a pool provides the perfect backdrop for an above-ground pool. Traditional rock gardens lie on slopes and incorporate native rocks spaced around plants. Rock gardens present a great option around a pool since the plants used in these gardens tend to be low-maintenance and drought-resistant. Make sure to leave space between the pool sides and garden. Consider using standard pine bark mulch with piles of rocks for a unique look. Plant native flowers and perennials to create a lasting, low-maintenance landscape.
Backyards simply beg for a flowering landscape. Pool areas, whether above-ground or in ground, can be greatly enhanced with planned gardens. Create a free-form garden around the above-ground pool area with flowing lines. Avoid creating a simple circular garden. This shape will allow you to plant more flowers and truly include the pool as a permanent structure in the landscape. Choose native flowering plants, mix in shrubs and incorporate perennials to create a pleasing mixture of your favorite plants.