- Category: Pool
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Landscaping around a pool has a plethora of considerations, and the choice of your bordering pool plants is one of them. You may have a vision of your poolside tropical paradise, but without careful consideration of long-term effects, your tropical paradise will turn into a jungle of extra work that could have been avoided.
If you'd rather spend time swimming or sunning in your pool than skimming it, make sure the trees and shrubs around your pool don't have the urge to throw things your way. Leaves blow off in the fall, seedpods whistle down, and convenient fresh fruit can make a splash when you least desire it. Thorns can brush against bare skin, and fallen bark or pinecones can create a nasty slip and fall scenario.
eally, you should consider the seasonal affects and gardening requirements of surrounding trees and shrubs before you install your pool. Pruning your hedges on the poolside could mean needles clogging your filter, or worse, a dangerous tumble to the ground. Elephant ear, ivy, and spreading plants can safely give you a tropical tease without disrupting your vacation time with extra poolside chores. Evergreens generally can't handle pool chemicals, but Japanese black pine and juniper tend to tolerate poolside affects well.
Your poolside plants will affect your pool - and your pool will take its toll on your plants if they're not carefully selected for tolerance. Cacti and succulents don't like poolside showers, yew and boxwood can't tolerate salt. If these are on your list of “must have” plants, make sure you plant them some distance from your poolside in raised containers, and put a wall or other edger around them for protection.
Iris, day lilies and portulaca are colorful poolside tolerant plants. If you're looking for a ground cover, ivy and cotoneaster grow well in a poolside environment and create a smooth transition between poolsides and lawns. Iberis and pinus make tolerant borders and do well as poolside container plants. If you have a sloping landscape away from the pool, sedum and vinca are perfect for steep slopes. In shady areas, ferns will flourish. In a sunny area, masses of creeping phlox will welcome you with their blooms even before the first swim of the season. If you're hoping to create shade, plant your larger plants and some eucalyptus on the north side of your pool.
Your poolside planting scheme should be safe and clean, visually appealing, and have a pleasant aroma. Avoid marigolds, tansy and other unpleasant smelling plants. Develop a color scheme before you even begin planting, and arrange your foliage so there is a lively diversity in height and depth. Consider the surrounding lighting and the paths you wish to create. A pleasant spacious arrangement of geraniums can create a simple path that escorts your guests from the terrace to the poolside deck. It is also important that your plants complement your deck and other construction materials, as well as any outside buildings and your furniture and décor.
Carefully selected poolside plants can create a luxurious poolside environment that ties your pool seamlessly into the environment while creating your own personal vacation spot. Design your poolside landscape for your getaway by researching your plants first. Careful selection will bring you relaxing days of swimming and sunning without having to first sweat over clogged filters and heavy skimmers. The only sweat you'll have to worry about is from having way too much fun in the sun while your surrounded by your poolside paradise.
- Category: Pool
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On a sweltering hot summer day, it's easy to get a unanimous family vote that favors getting a pool installed in the backyard. But in the days that follow, it won't be so easy to make a decision on the type of pool that is installed. Reviewing price, design, material, construction time, installation demands, permit requirements, and tax advantages versus disadvantages can make you feel like your drowning in the decision making process.
If you want a pool to just cool off in, and you want it now no matter what the consequences are, the easiest thing to do is to just get an above-ground pool. An above-ground pool is easy to install, and one of the least expensive pool options. In most circumstances, an above-ground pool won't require a building permit (but look into your town ordinances), and your yard won't see any heavy duty excavation work unless you want a deep end.
Standard above-ground pools are built to accommodate an even 4' depth. However, there are more expensive above-ground kits with angled bottoms that allow for a deep end. Hopper liners sink into the ground enough to allow for an 8' deep end for safe diving. If you have a sloping yard, you can get an above-ground pool kit with an expandable liner that forms itself with the grade of your land. These specialized kits are more expensive and might require some excavation work, so if you're not content with a 4' depth level or have a precarious sloping grade to contend with, it's best to compare the cost of above-ground pool kits with the cost of a prefabricated in-ground pool.
At a minimum, your above-ground pool kit will contain steel panels, vinyl liner, and your choice of aluminum or wood for the pool walls. But when you're shopping for your pool kit, pay attention to the accessories that are offered. Some kits might include steps and ladders, others might provide you with underwater lighting and heat. Buying a kit that includes cleaning accessories such as filters and skimmers or other standard pool tools might save you some time, but they may or may not be worth the markup in price. If you're in a hurry, you're sure to find a complete kit with everything you need at your fingertips. Chances are the pool company can refer you to someone who can install it for you, or you can do it yourself.
Once your pool is erected, you can elaborate on the basic structure. The deck can be enlarged, improved, or redesigned. Trees and plants can add architecture and shade. Furniture, beverage stations, saunas and recreation areas can be added. An entire outdoor living area can be created beginning with the pool as the starting focal point.
If you want to cool down fast without a heavy investment in time or money, an above-ground pool could be the answer. If you don't like it, it's relatively easy to take down and resell. If you do like it, you can move it with you. If you're drowning in decision making and just want a dip in cool refreshing water to cool you off, an above-ground pool is the easy answer for you.
- Category: Pool
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On a hot summer's day, there is nothing more refreshing than diving into a pool and feeling the invigorating rush of water refresh your skin. Even on mild summer nights, a few laps in the pool and some underwater diving can whisk away the troubles of the day. Swimming is an incredibly beneficial exercise for weight loss, strength and endurance, and is particularly recommended for those with arthritis, back injuries, muscular disabilities, and the elderly. When you have an in-ground pool, you have the means to improve your comfort, your health, and your enjoyment of life.
Installing an in-ground pool will also improve the value of your home, and give you an elegant area for recreation and outdoor entertaining. Elaborate custom made in-ground pools can include built-in spas, decorative murals, and spouting water fountains. But even a simple vinyl-lined in-ground pool can spout some outdoor sophistication with simulated tile or soft floral designs. If you're ready to invest in an outdoor in-ground pool, start with researching prefabricated pool options and custom-made pool options.
Prefabricated in-ground pools come pre-shaped. The traditional choices are an “L” shape, a standard rectangle, circle or oval, or a kidney shape. Custom pools can accommodate almost any shape. This is done by pouring concrete or gunite (a mix of concrete and sand) to dry into a custom-made frame. Vinyl liners and steel are used for custom pools and prefab pools. Fiberglass and aluminum are frequently used for prefab pool liners.
The pool liner you choose must not only meet your aesthetic values, but it must cooperate with your climate as well. Fiberglass, metal and gunite are preferred materials in southern climates, but metal walls will heave and gunite might crack (depending on thickness) if exposed to the consistent harsh winters in northern climates. In-ground vinyl pools can survive winter hibernation because they are more flexible and can tolerate weather-activated soil movement well.
Vinyl, fiberglass and metal liners each have properties that resist algae. Vinyl is pretreated to resist mold and algae, and fiberglass and metal liners are so slick that the culprits slide right off and can't cling to the pool walls. You'll find that most in-ground pool packages will include the filters and cleaning tools you need, as well as ladders and diving boards. Vinyl, fiberglass and metal are also treated to be fade-resistant.
The liner is undoubtedly the most important part of the pool, but to complete your outdoor enjoyment, considerable consideration has to be given to your choice of poolside decking material and design. Prefabricated in-ground pool kits will often come with your choice of material for the pool ledge, and there are thousands of decking and landscaping options for your poolside perimeter.
Your pool and pool area will quickly become a retreat for relaxation, refreshment, exercise, and recreation. If you're socially inclined, your in-ground pool will easily turn your backyard into the perfect venue for entertaining family and friends. Whether you like to test the waters, roll with the waves, or plunge right in, having the proper in-ground pool installed will keep you on the road to a healthier, happier life during the many summers to come.