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Swimming Pool Landscaping Ideas to Enhance Your Pool Design

A grey swimming pool cover half covering a swimming pool surrounded by sunbeds and an outbuilding

An outdoor swimming pool is such an important part of your garden and pool landscaping is a fantastic way to add that ‘wow factor’ to make it even more inviting to your family and friends. Depending on your preferences, swimming pool garden design can make your pool feel like a relaxing retreat, or give it a creative, energetic feel.

At Hydrocare, we’re experts in swimming pool design, including landscaping and lighting, where we focus on what surrounds your pool to make it even more attractive and enjoyable, whether you want to destress or have fun. If you’re looking for pool landscaping ideas, our guide will help you get a better picture of your dream pool area, as well as inspiration on materials, plants and seating.

To discuss renovating your pool, or to get a consultation on building a pool with landscaping, get in touch with us today.

Greenery and planters

Adding greenery around your swimming pool is always a good idea as plants and trees:

  • Provide shade
  • Add privacy to your poolside
  • Can be chosen and landscaped to suit your style
  • Offer a natural touch

Ivy is perfect if you’re aiming for a resort style, spa atmosphere, or you could even choose palms and Bird of Paradise flowers. Hedging, shrubbery and long grass is more quintessentially British, and there are so many flowering plants to choose from that can add colour in the summer months.

Depending on the shape of your pool, and whether you have a plunge pool, infinity pool, or inground pool etc, planters are ideal to add greenery and colour to the sides, whilst keeping it very orderly and low maintenance. You could also look to replant over the years as your tastes change.

Flower beds and greenery surrounding an outdoor swimming pool

When considering greenery to add to your landscaping, remember that heated pools can make the area humid, and plants are likely to be hit by splashes of pool water containing chlorine. You should also think about visibility – keep the pool central to your landscaping and visible from all angles for safety reasons.

Surface materials

Rectangle swimming pool with small square spa on the end and a blue pool cover

Around outdoor swimming pools you want a surface that offers anti-slip properties and material that is not going to get too hot in the sun (has low heat retention).

Composite decking is a very popular pool landscaping idea; it prevents the growth of algae and offers a natural, often striking look. Stone or concrete patios are also commonly used, with many options available in different colours and sizes, all whilst being waterproof. To enhance your pool area, you could design patterns in your chosen paving and create pathways from your home to your pool.

Choosing the right surface materials is one of the most important landscaping decisions. Consider how you are going to use your pool and seek our expert advice for further help.

Pool lighting

Swimming pool designs will also benefit from the installation of lighting, which can achieve a stunning look for your pool and help to transition it from use in the day, to use at dusk and night time.

You can have lights in the pool itself, integrated into your decking or patio, and of course, in water features and within your chosen greenery. When planning lighting, it’s a great opportunity to make use of modern technology with timers, dimmers, different colours and energy efficient options available.

Swimming pool and water features with red lighting

Lighting also adds an element of safety to ensure you can see where you are going around the pool and to avoid any mislaid pool accessories or slip risks.

Seating areas and lounging space

Rectangle outdoor swimming pool with blue swimming pool cover and patio with sunbeds and plant pots

A welcoming seating area is ideal by a pool as it allows you to enjoy the landscaped space to sunbathe, read a book, listen to music, or simply take in the fresh air and sounds of your garden. A seating area works well whether the pool area is paved or decked, and can be as simple as a couple of loungers. To enhance the space, add a table for drinks and snacks and a parasol for added shade, should space allow. You can also invest in outdoor storage for towels, blankets, and games, perfect if you frequently entertain.

When you imagine a seating area for your swimming pool, think about any accessible needs and how you plan to use it. If you will mainly be using the seating to rest and sunbathe, you may want lightweight seating you can easily move and store away, and if it’s more for entertaining or dining by the pool, you could choose heavier furniture and spend extra money on a luxury look.

In the UK, it can also work out well to have a firepit or heat lamps in your lounge area, especially if you have a heated pool that you wish to use and enjoy all year round.

Water features

Water features are often fun statement pieces for outdoor swimming pools and can make the space really feel unique and your own. Water features can include:

  • Waterfalls
  • Waterslides
  • Cascades
  • Bubblers
  • Fountains
  • And much more
Circular water features and outdoor showers surrounding an outdoor swimming pool

Pool pathways

Outdoor swimming pool surrounded by patio and fields. There are also steps down to the pool with a glass fenced off area

Having an attractive route to swimming pools is a consideration that can easily be overlooked and one that can also achieve great visual results. If your pool is the main feature of your garden space, it makes sense to add a pathway leading up to it. This can be straight, wavy, paved, decked, or gravelled, and also lit for an unforgettable look in the dark.

Pool house, changing rooms and poolside bars

If you have a suitable budget for pool landscaping, you could look to invest in a pool house or gazebo, changing rooms, and poolside bars to really bring your space to life and make it both functional and impressive.

A pool house can open up the area and make it more versatile throughout the different seasons, whilst changing rooms and bars are perfect for entertaining and making your outdoor swimming pool the ultimate place to be.

Outdoor swimming pool with wooden outbuilding and patio

Pool landscaping FAQ

How do you landscape around a swimming pool?

Most pool owners will get the help of professional swimming pool landscapers who have the equipment, experience and ideas to create the perfect pool design for their needs. It involves assessing the pool and the surrounding area to enhance the space and make it as welcoming as possible. This can include soft landscaping – plants, hedges, trees – and hard landscaping – paving, decking, and concrete, for example.

At Hydrocare, our 3D CAD design tool allows us to design the whole area your swimming pool is going in, including any landscaping ideas for the surrounding area.

What can I put around my pool to make it look nice?

There are many options for what you can put around your pool to enhance its look, and it may even seem daunting at first but an expert can work on the best options for your pool shape, space and budget. In general, having plants, lighting and a seating area can really add to the appeal of a pool’s landscape.

What is best to put around an inground pool?

Inground pools are built into the ground and sit level with your lawn, and also look great with decking or paving. They can suit water features such as fountains, planters, rock walls and deck chairs. If used often for entertaining in the summer, and if your budget allows, you could look to invest in a pool gazebo.

What are the best hardscaping materials for pool areas?

The best hardscaping materials will be those that are durable, low maintenance and suit your personal style preferences. Natural stone is very popular, however, it needs to be sealed annually, concrete is really versatile with a number of aesthetic options, and composite wood decking is very stylish. The best materials can be chosen after our initial consultation and discussing your requirements.

Enquire about our pool landscaping services

We’re ready to create the perfect swimming pool for your garden with landscaping ideas and pool designs to enhance your space and even your enjoyment of your pool. We’d love to hear from you, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.