Adding plants around a pool makes the area more visually attractive, although sunny areas often result in dry soils. Consider adding mulch around the base of the plants to conserve moisture. Create more visual interest by arranging your plants by height--plant the tallest plants in the back and the shortest ones up front. Finally, make sure the plants you choose grow in your zone, particularly if you like perennials. Once you're done planting, sit back, admire your work and enjoy your beautiful pool area.
Ground cover plants spread very quickly but reach only a few inches in height. Use them in large areas that need immediate coverage, or plant them in the front of taller plants. Consider plants such as common bearberry, an evergreen ground cover suitable for acid soils. Cranberry cotoneaster with its tiny pink flowers followed by red berries also works well. Creeping juniper, a popular plant displaying evergreen-like needles, is available in several varieties.
Fast-growing vines provide a way to quickly cover patches of bare ground and upright structures. Use trellises or fences to encourage the vines to spread upward as well as outward. Consider plants such as the beautiful orange-flowered trumpet vine, known to spread 30 feet or more. Or, plant a climbing hydrangea with its showy white flowers with vines spreading to 75 feet or more. If you want to attract birds, plant Virginia creeper--this fast-growing, clinging vine sports red fall foliage and blue fruits and grows to 100 feet or more.
Flowering shrubs make a great addition for the back of your landscaping or to create screened areas on the edges of your landscaping. Among the many available shrubs, consider flowering quince with its pinkish to red flowers in spring; it grows up to 10 feet tall. Or try sumac--it grows up to 20 feet tall and features bright red fall leaves with little fruits.
Colorful, hardy and easy to maintain, ornamental grasses give texture and form to your landscaping. Choose from shorter grasses that grow just 1 to 2 feet in height, such as dwarf fountain with its copper-colored seed heads resembling bottle brushes. Or, try taller grasses growing from 2 to 7 feet such as feather reed grass with its dark green, shiny leaves and feathery pink flowers.
Perfect for adding color to your landscape, annuals may last only one season, but many put on quite the show while they last. You can get annuals almost anywhere; just make sure they thrive in full sun. Consider begonias, dahlias, or daisies, all available in a myriad of colors. You can also add a few pots of geraniums or petunias to the area, moving them around when you need color in a certain area of the landscaping; these can also be planted in the ground.