The most common thing in the backyards of Floridians is a pool.
And many people want a luxury swimming pool where their friends come over, bring the kids, and their home becomes the place everyone wants to hang out at.
Pools aren’t just fun and relaxing, they’re an entertainment that truly makes you the hostess with the mostest. And if your the type of person that likes to host get togethers and parties, a pool is a great way to entertain, especially if your guests don’t have a pool of their own.
But, what elements should you consider for the landscape? Because we all know (or should know) that the poolside landscape is just as important as the pool itself, and can make or break the relaxing effects of one of the best home additions.
To make your poolside the ultimate at-home retreat, it’s important to keep in mind which plants you want to avoid and which materials you should consider.
Here are five of our top poolside landscaping features for your Florida property.
1. Choose slow-growing plants
When you think of your pool and the landscape of it, you probably imagine yourself out in the pool, relaxing and soaking in the sun… not trimming the plants once a week.
That’s why you need to choose slow-growing plants. They don’t require much work and they don’t require trimming nearly as often. Moderate to slow growers can be manicured or you can let them grow naturally, in which case you’d only really have to trim to shape them a few times a year.
A few examples of slow-growing plants include:
- Alexander Palm
- Selloum Philodendron
The best way to determine which plants will work best for your poolside landscape is to talk with a landscape designer about the different levels of plant maintenance and growth patterns.
2. Use shade structures
This is especially important here in Florida. Not only are shade structures, like pergolas, functional, they’re also add beauty and charm.
As far as functionality, pergolas can create privacy and even offer a foundation for growing crawling plants. Ultimately, you can think of a pergola as an outdoor room in your landscape. When you add lighting and furniture, you’ve got yourself a perfect way to relax outside or host get togethers and parties.
3. Add lighting to your pool and landscape
Pool and landscape lighting makes it so you and your guests can stay outside for longer periods of time. But not only that, it also creates architectural interest within your pool, trees and landscape.
But most importantly, landscape lighting adds points of safety, especially in the pool area. We recommend adding lighting to all walkways, gathering spaces and the pool itself so you and your guests can always see.
When it comes to quality, if done correctly lighting can make an outdoor environment more alive. On the flip side, if done poorly it can cheapen the overall feel.
Our most important suggestion is to stay away from DIY lighting kits and to speak with a professional for your landscape lighting needs.
4. Use stones as accents
Want to know the best part about stone? It doesn’t need to be watered or trimmed!
And in today’s world where health is often a concern, pests and disease aren’t an issue with stone.
Not to mention the beauty that comes with stone brings depth, texture and visual interest to the poolside landscape. If you’ve ever seen pictures of pools you really liked, I bet there was stone in their landscape. Whether it’s all of the walkways or just a few accents here and there, it’s no doubt that stone enhances any space.
5. Be mindful of flower and plant mess
There are some flowering shrubs and plants that shed their buds, drop sap, etc. This can bring your beautiful outdoor living space from a 10 to a 5 really quick, and the last thing you want to be doing is spending your time cleaning up plant debris around and inside the pool.
(Related: Spring Patio Tips)
The types of plants that do this depend on your location and we recommend speaking with a local landscape professional who can tell you which plants and shrubs to avoid.
6. Decks and patios
Adding a deck or patio to your pool can add beauty and safety for your pool. There are many materials to choose from, such as concrete, brick, tile and pavers – but we recommend choosing a non-slip surface in order to protect kids from injuries.
Also, keep in mind the pool access. If your deck borders your lawn and guests have to walk through your grass to get to the pool, they’ll bring debris with them into the pool as well… and we don’t want that! Adding stepping stones and walkways that lead to the pool will eliminate that problem.
Fencing around the pool area can be a good option if you expect many kids to use it. If you choose to use fencing, there are many ways to have it fit in with the rest of your landscape. For example, you could have crawling plants or vines for a softer look.
Most importantly, you’ll need to keep in mind whether or not you have salt water or chlorine before adding a fence. Salt can corrode some fencing materials, so it’s important to learn which fence will work best for your pool.
Overall, a pool is very exciting, relaxing and a great way to entertain guests. But it’s important to do the landscaping correctly so you can maintain that relaxing vibe and minimize stress and work.
At Terra Nova Outdoor Living, we are expert when it comes to outdoor living spaces. We can show you exactly which plants you should use, which ones you should avoid, and we can even help with the overall design. You can stop by our Largo location Monday through Saturday, or you can call us at (727) 270-8307.