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.