Gardening Around Your Pool…. by Louis

Gardening Around Your Pool…. by Louis

Spring is on its way and so the warm summer days will soon follow with the promise of family and friends around the pool.  

There are a huge variety of plants available to landscape with, varieties to suit all different styles of gardens – tropical, Mediterranean, country, or oriental; choose from the many shades of green or brighten the area with colours or even create sculptures with palms, cycads and trees. The plant choices and their successful growth as well as the future maintenance of this garden depends a lot on the variety of plants you choose to landscape with.

A shade tree is always a “nice to have”, providing a cool area to relax and entertain under, and so a tree nearby or overhanging the pool works very well. Remember to choose a variety where the root system will not interfere with the walls of your pool, plant the tree in a position where all the warm afternoon sun will not be obscured by a large crown of leaves, keep in mind the maintenance involved with winter leaves and not forgetting the seasonal flowers and berries of spring and summer.

(below pictures from

Choose plants that are hardy, water-wise and tough. The reflected glare and heat coming from the water surface and off the paving around the pool will affect the leaves of your plants as well as their shallower roots.

Screening, in the form of hedges is a popular addition around swimming pools. Choose a variety where pruning and shaping will not keep you attached to hedge shears all summer long. Again, remember the maintenance involved with varieties producing large numbers of flowers or berries. This can be avoided by regular clippings. Keep in mind the height of the screen so as not to put your pool in too much shade.   

The area around the pool is a busy place especially where young children and their friends are concerned, and maybe the not so young but just as boisterous should also be given a mention. Choose ‘friendly’ plants, avoiding those varieties with thorns and sharp spines. Varieties that have vigorous and rampant summer growth will need to be cut back often and plants that will shed hard or spiky seed pods should be avoided. 


Containers are an excellent option for around a pool and often used to create areas of interest. Here the sculptural aspects of design can be given a bit of free reign with interesting pot shapes and form plants. There are, however, a few points to remember when planting containers around your pool. Firstly, the pots must be well drained to allow for healthy root growth. The container should be large enough to accommodate the plants in them without having to do a yearly transplant. An important point to remember is the amount of heat the soil will absorb through the pot as well as from the surrounding paving. Keep an eye on these plants and give a little extra TLC during those long hot summer weeks. Perhaps a word of caution on the sharper edges of square pots is needed for those previously mentioned boisterous ones.     

By keeping the above points in mind when planning the landscape around the pool, you will have more fun filled, enjoyable weekends with family and friends without the chores of weekly maintenance.