When people purchase a pool, they know what they want their pool area will look like. It may be green and lush, or it may be exotic and tropical. However, many don't take into consideration that the pool alone will not magically transform the area into what you see in your head. It is the landscaping around the pool that helps everything come together to give you the outdoor space you have been dreaming of. A well-planned pool landscaping can really turn a basic swimming pool into an absolute paradise.

What is Pool Landscaping?

Landscaping is making improvements land to make it look more aesthetically pleasing or have it be more practical. In the case of pool landscaping it is manipulating the area and land around a pool to not only make it look better but often to follow a theme like a tropical oasis.

Qualities of Gorgeous Pool Landscapes


The design and theme of your pool landscaping dictate everything else. Great pool designs are ones that fit the size of the area it's in, and that flow with the existing landscape rather than looking like it was just dropped there and out of place. If you have a fairly flat area where your pool will be then this will be simple since just about any shape pool fits well with a flat yard. But if you have a yard that has different levels to it and some areas are higher than others, this gives you the opportunity to get creative.

Maybe you have a hot tub with a small waterfall that drops into the pool, or maybe one area is just a pool, and another is a water activity area. The theme of the pool landscaping should fit the design of the pool and the home. If you have a more rustic looking home with an ultra-modern pool area in the back, it will look disjointed. Instead, take inspiration from your home and the design of the pool to come up with a theme that makes everything tie together as if they were meant to be that way from the time the house was built.

pool landscape


Potted Plants

Potted plants are perfect for around pool landscaping that has limited space. You can plant many plants that won't depend on the soil around the pool for nutrients giving you a large variety of plants to choose from. The pots used can also add color and interest as well as complimenting the theme you chose.


Using planters around a pool will help contain the dirt and soil, so they do not end up in the pool during periods of heavy rain or if you over-water the plants. If you want an area that is dedicated to shrubs and flowers around your pool, a planter is a great option. Planters also create multiple levels of interest in your yard, rather than a single, ground-level interest level.


If you have space around your pool, the grass is always a great way to fill in the area. It adds a rich, green texture to the outdoor space, helping to break up any concrete surroundings. The grass is also versatile and can be used by those who have kids that like to run around or those who want an area to lie out and tan.


As you are pool landscaping, you want to keep privacy in mind. You probably don't want your neighbors to be able to sit on their patio and watch your swim session. Privacy also helps maintain any theme you may have picked for your pool area. For example, if you design your pool to look like a hidden sanctuary in the middle of the jungle, your neighbor walking out to water his lawn will ruin that.


Fences are a great way to keep your privacy if you have a more modern designed area or cottage feeling area. Perimeter fences, which are often used to define a yard and keep dogs in and prying eyes out are a safe solution. Another type of fence is a pool safety fence. This helps to keep kids and pets out of the pool when the gate is closed. There are standard types of fencing, such as wood perimeter fencing and ornamental fencing that adds a decorative touch. Ornamental fencing can be pricier, but it also can enhance the look and feel of your space.


Another way you can have privacy around your pool is through the use of plants. High shrubs and tall trees can be planted outside pool safety fences to keep people from being able to look into your area. They also can be planted around the perimeter of a perimeter fence. Not only does this help to increase your privacy, but it may also help shade your outdoor space, keeping it cooler during the hot summer months.


Solar-Powered Garden Lights

Solar-powered lights are a great option for pool landscaping lighting because they can be placed almost anywhere as long as there is sunlight. Floodlights shine a lot of light down on the area specified. Uplights point upward at an angle to emphasize a tree, plant, fountain, or another element in your yard. Solar lights can be installed in concrete stairs around your pool, ensuring no one trips.

Tiki Torches

Another option lighting around the pool area is to use tiki torches. Tiki torches create a tropical and look. However, you will have to maintain the torch, and the pool area is only lit when you light the torches, rather than all the time with solar-powered garden lights.



Concrete is the material that is most often used for the patio around the pool. This is because concrete is affordable and versatile. There are many techniques that are used to transform a plain, gray concrete slab into something unique and interesting. Stamping concrete can give it a paver-like look. Coloring concrete can change its color. Etching concrete can make it look like a high-end natural stone.


Pavers are also commonly used for the patio area around a pool. The benefit to pavers is that you can create interesting patterns by laying the bricks, pavers, or flagstone in various directions. However, pavers have to be laid by hand, which can get expensive.


Stones & Pebbles

When you are pool landscaping around your pool, you may use rocks, stones, pebbles, or boulders. While these can be beautiful and really seat a theme, it is important not to use small stones or pebbles. Small rocks can end up in the pool, causing problems in the pool filtration and vacuuming system. If you do use stones or pebbles, place them in an area far from the pool and ensure they stay there.


Boulders or large rock formations can be used to add design and texture to the atmosphere of the pool. Some people use real boulders and stone to create formations such as rock waterfalls or rocks that someone can dive from.

backyard pool landscaping

10 Pool Landscaping Examples to See


Not only should a backyard pool match the structure and style of your home, but it should also match the size. Don't let a small become dwarfed by a massive pool or let your large home tower over a tiny pool. The two should be balanced.


If you can't stand bland, know a dose of color goes a long way. Line the bottom of your pool with a tile in your favorite hue and wait for it to sparkle in the sun. You can also let the color come from the plants and patio furniture surrounding the pool.

Simple but Luxurious

If simplicity is your thing, you can still have it and also have a beautiful pool. Keep your accents basic but beautiful with squared edges, white stone, and wood. Use deck furniture that is functional yet versatile to keep clutter at bay.

Natural Habitat

If the natural beauty surrounds your pool inspires you then keep it that way. You can use locally sourced rock, stone, wood, and plant life to make your pool landscaping project fit seamlessly with the surrounding space.


Make time spent in your pool feel like a small adventure. Adding bridges, fountains, lazy rivers, and splash zones, in the pool can make it your own personal water park. Complete your space with playful paths, decorative rock, and a luxurious cabana. And your water adventure is ready to go.

So-Cal Inspired

Living in Southern California means you have to have a backyard with a heated pool and spa. Rough-cut stone pool setting and a hardwood patio add to this iconic style. Add a touch of comfort with netted curtains around the patio to protect from pesky insects.

Victorian Versailles

Soft and natural stone, paired with delicate cream palettes, draping curtains, and bright greenery will transport you to a place of Versailles-style elegance. This timeless look can be achieved in any backyard.

Light up the Night

Keep your backyard from feeling cramped by installing a pool and patio that are full of warm and vibrant lighting. Lining the retaining walls or floor of your pool with low-voltage LED lights makes your pool look larger than life while allowing you to go for a spontaneous nighttime dip.

Zen Centered

Make your pool the perfect retreat for morning yoga or prayer. Wrap a simplistic pool design in bold greenery and add statements such as decorative rocks, statues, or chimes to keep the space focused and meditative.

Modern European

A brown or black stone pool should be guarded closely by bold walls. With the addition of lanterns or real torches as lighting, you'll feel like your backyard has turned into the south of France. Don't forget to add groomed shrubbery as an accent to this aesthetic.



Pool landscaping can transform your backyard and pool area from regular and plain, to an awe-inspiring paradise that's just outside your door. It's often thought that creating these pool getaways are difficult, but with some planning, designing, you can bring your pool theme of choice to life by simply landscaping the area around the pool.

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