How to Landscape Around Above Ground Pools


You can transform your above ground pool from "just for fun" to "absolutely fabulous" with the addition of some well-planned landscape features. Make the most of what you already have, such as a privacy or security fence, by adding some creative design elements. Use colors, themes and simple structures to express your personal style, while ensuring your landscaping is comfortable, eye-pleasing and kid-friendly. Don't hesitate to experiment. Think beyond grass and shrubs to flowering succulents and water-loving bog plants.

Step 1

Secure water-resistant trellises to your pool security fence. Plant climbing English ivy at the base for a perennial green look. Add begonias, day lilies or pots of red geraniums for color and fragrance.

Step 2

Plant colorful, climbing perennials such as clematis, or annuals such as morning glory, on the side of a trellis attached to your fence but facing away from the pool. This keeps the bees and other wildlife safely outside of the pool area.

Step 3

Hang rectangular flower boxes and round flower pots at and above pool level on the inside and outside of a privacy fence. Create interesting patterns using strands of trailing greens, such as Vinca, alternated with tall, spiky plants, such as dune grasses.

Step 4

Choose water-tolerant bog plants, such as marsh marigolds, horsetails, Siberian iris and ferns. Plant them in a wet gully at the entrance to your above-ground pool

Step 5

Create a perennial border of small white rocks that extends out one foot on both sides of your privacy or security fence. Nestle large granite boulders in the rock bed, about every three feet. Intersperse swimming-related novelties -- a collection of large seashells, a brightly colored beach ball, an oversized, straw sun hat and a large pair of sunglasses, a bright, yellow-and-pink, polka-dot bikini -- on the privacy fence between the boulders.

Step 6

Use color schemes and design elements that coincide with seasonal events and holidays. Choose red geraniums, blue delphiniums and white impatiens for Memorial Day and July 4th. Hang oversized pencils, a colorful pair of backpacks, plastic cut-outs of a school bus, crayons and a pair of saddle shoes on the fence to indicate back-to-school in August and September.

Step 7

Use concrete figurines of children and woodland animals to form a circle around the exterior boundary of your pool area. Complement the design and create a themed space with matching concrete stepping stones the lead from the pool area to your house or deck.

Step 8

Use themed features that are also functional. Park benches and Victorian-styled lamp posts can provide necessary seating and lighting. Old-fashioned hitching posts provide places for the kids to hang their wet towels.

Step 9

Build a gateway to your pool area that matches the exterior décor of your home. Connect pool to home with a polystyrene slatted footbridge lit with tiki lights at night.

Step 10

Create a vintage beach scene with colorful beach umbrellas, vintage chaise lounges and potted palm fronds and dune grasses set in beach sand. Use a pair of large, pink flamingos to mark the pool gateway.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be careful to avoid displays or landscape features with sharp edges or protruding knobs.

Things You'll Need

  • Trellis
  • Flower pots
  • Container plants
  • Ground covers
  • Figurines
  • Decorative stone
  • Landscaping boulders
  • Outdoor lights


  • Creating the Perfect Landscape
  • Tips for Landscaping Above Ground Pools
Keywords: landscaping, swimming pools, above-ground

About this Author

Kate Sheridan is a freelance writer, researcher, blogger, reporter and photographer whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and trade publications for 35 years. She attended Oakland University and The University of Michigan, beginning her journalism career as an intern at the "Rochester Eccentric." She's received honors from the Michigan Press Association, American Marketing Association and the State of Michigan Department of Commerce.

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