15 Gorgeous Ways to Landscape Around a Pool

Is there anything more idyllic than a day at the pool? Turn your basic swimming hole into a relaxing oasis with these creative landscaping ideas.

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Photo By: Image courtesy of Pool Environments

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Photo By: Mark McWilliams

Photo By: Warwick P Hunt

Photo By: Jonathan Davis; Chris Foster

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Photo By: Genus Loci Ecological Landscapes Inc., photo by Anthony Chung

Photo By: Falling Waters Landscape Inc., www.fallingwaterslandscape.com

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Lovely + Low-Maintenance

For a low-water landscaping solution, opt for a variety of plants that can handle being planted in rocky, potentially dry, settings, like those in this rustic, Mediterranean-style courtyard.

Lush Oasis

Creeping plants are the perfect accessory to pool areas where you want to soften the building materials and add a romantic touch to the surroundings. Echo the natural look of this stunning poolscape by installing a mix of tropical plants and flowering, creeping ground covers such as phlox to fill in the crevices and corners of a natural boulder border.

See More Photos: Groundcovers That Stay Colorful in Winter

Contain Yourself

A pretty container adds a splash of color to this modern pool area and complements the lush lawn and contemporary design of the patio. Like the arrangement shown here, make sure to include a thriller (a high-impact plant with the most height), a filler (a medium level plant that will fill in space), and a spiller (a creeping plant that will grow down the side of the container). Want to recreate this pretty planter? Surround tall rosemary with deep red coleus and lime green sweet potato vine.

How to Design a Container Garden


The mix of containers, low-lying rectangular planters, earthen hardscape and unique lawn pavers in this pool landscape combine to create a cool, relaxing scene. If the climate you’re in will permit it, copy this tropical look with plants such as banana trees and palms.

Bed Head

Try out the "bed head"-style gardening trend in your pool landscape by pairing lush hydrangeas with scattered plantings of daylilies, ornamental grasses and more. This purposefully-overgrown look is a perfect complement to the sylvan backdrop and curved edges of this cottage pool.

See More Photos: Grow a Bed Head Garden

Clean + Green

This pool landscape is all about clean lines and a flawless lawn. Spend time on the quality of your lawn and the simplicity of your hardscape (like this simple layout of bluestone pavers), and you won’t need an elaborate landscape design to make your pool area feel luxurious.

Follow Your Nose

Herbs are a beautiful option for pool landscaping — not only are they pleasing to the eye, but their robust fragrances can transform your pool day into a relaxing trip to the spa. In this photo, bountiful swaths of low-maintenance lavender surround the pool area, with ornamental grasses as a backdrop.

See More Photos: How to Use Herbs in the Landscape

Hedge Your Bets

Clipped boxwood hedges and a luxurious green lawn add privacy and traditional elegance to this pool area. Whether you choose to float in the pool or enjoy a meal on the terrace, a landscape like this makes every summer day feel like a vacation.

Design by Mother Nature

Let nature do the landscaping for you. Instead of planning out distinct beds and installing an extensive hardscape around a rectangular pool, take a tip from Genus Loci Ecological Landscapes and opt for a natural, pond-like feel, surrounding your pool with rocks, aquatic vegetation and flowering groundcover. A small gazebo and deck make this natural water feature look especially picturesque.

Asian Fusion

This Asian-inspired poolside landscape features clean lines, simple concrete pavers that echo the shape of the house behind it, stunning statuary and a beautiful mix of drought-tolerant shrubs, grasses and plants. Bring the serenity of this Asian style to your own pool with tidy beds and plants such as mondo grass, pine, Japanese maple trees and bamboo.

Privacy Palms

Achieve privacy in your pool area the tropical way by planting a grove of palm trees. No matter how close neighbors are, the thick greenery will make your swimming hole feel remote. Add a relaxed, pebble-lined patio and lounge chairs for maximum relaxation.

Above-Ground Glamour

This partially above-ground pool has style to spare. The stepped hill that hugs one side of the pool is an uncommon, yet striking feature and the landscaping meshes with the natural look of the Montecito, California location. Try a similar look with yucca plants spaced at regular intervals along your poolside garden beds.

17 Ways to Pretty-Up an Above-Ground Pool

Checkers, Anyone?

The beauty of this geometric landscaping is impossible to deny. In addition to being attractive and practical, this checkerboard paver pattern is a completely doable DIY with the right supplies.

How to Lay a Paver Patio for a Fire Pit

Moroccan Spice

Trendy Moroccan tile and healthy swaths of draping greenery pair perfectly in this gorgeous pool landscape. Copy the look by installing a sun-loving plant like Russian sage, which you’ll need to prune diligently and divide every several years for best results.

Credits: Architecture: Koffka/Phakos Design; Landscape Contractor: New View Landscape; Pool/spa and Masonry: Darin Marten Construction; Metal Work: Salvador Delgado

See More Photos: Outdoor Oasis: Moroccan-Inspired Swimming Pool

A Study in Contrast

Think dramatic and unique when it comes to your color scheme. This high-contrast garden combines rich greens, silvers and dusky purples, using plants such as jasmine, thyme, lavender and boxwood. The dramatic colors and long, lush flower beds add a touch of soft style to the ultra-modern swimming pool.

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