Backyard Pool Landscaping Ideas

The addition of a pool to the backyard landscape creates a fun gathering space for the family. Landscaping around the backyard pool area requires decisions on the level of desired maintenance. Considerations also include designing a landscape that allows the pool to blend with its environment. A backyard pool becomes the focal point of the landscape and defines the primary use for the property. Tailoring the landscape to accommodate the pool area as well as blend other activity areas will create a seamless backyard design to enjoy for many years.


Xeriscape landscapes focuses on water conservation through the use of drought-tolerant native plants. Xeriscape offers the homeowner a low-maintenance type of landscaping that flatters any pool. Native plants tolerate the existing soil and moisture conditions with little assistance from humans. A host of plants such as ornamental grasses, flowering perennials and shrubs fit nicely into this type of garden to complement any style backyard pool. Xeriscape offers new pool owners the option of creating a sustainable landscape that won't require the expense of constant maintenance.

Inorganic Mulches

Garden debris from flowers and trees inevitably ends up in the pool. Pool owners must make sure that organic matter doesn't upset the chemical balance of the water. Organic mulches such as pine bark can blow into the pool or be tracked in on the feet. Choosing permanent inorganic mulch such as gravel or river rock to cover garden beds offers a clean alternative to shredded bark mulch. The use of gravel softens the harsh lines of a concrete pool deck, blending this hardscape feature with the rest of the yard. Gravel also serves as the perfect transition to walkways to other parts of the yard.

Follow the Pool Shape

As the focal point of the backyard, the simplest design follows the shape of the pool. Create curved gardens around the perimeter of the pool deck to soften the look of the concrete decking. Incorporate wooden walkways extending to other parts of the yard. Use container gardens alone or grouped to create miniature gardens in gathering spaces such as table or lounge areas. Framing garden areas with wood timbers or cement pavers blends this area with the pool. Choose similar materials to the pool decking to create cohesion in the landscape.

Leave the Lawn

Some homeowners prefer a simple design to the backyard landscape by allowing a green expanse of lawn to frame the pool instead of flower-filled gardens. This approach requires little maintenance other than mowing the lawn weekly during the summer. Grassy areas meet the pool decking in a seamless line in the landscape that requires minimal edging maintenance. Create pockets of color in the landscape along the walkway to the pool with low-lying plants or focus gardens near other outdoor living spaces. Ornamental grass mounds, tailored small boxwoods and limited flowers don't detract from the pool area.

Keywords: pool landscaping, landscape for pool, backyard pool landscaping

About this Author

Currently studying for her Maryland master gardener certification, Sharon Heron has written professionally since 2006. Her writing includes hundreds of articles on a wide range of topics including gardening, environment, golf, parenting, exercise, finances and consumer how-to articles.