These above ground pool landscaping photos will help you develop ideas for your poolside landscape. Plants you should not use in above ground swimming pool landscaping. Above ground pool deck landscaping tips.
Color Coordination in Above Ground Swimming Pool Landscaping
This is a good example of how color can be used to unify an above ground pool landscape design.
The bright pink chair cushions provide a color accent.
You can’t see it in the picture but the green ornamental grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) sends up rosy pink plumes when it flowers. Another, more subtle, red accent is added by the ripening fruit of the ornamental chili pepper. A potted banana plant adds tropical greenery to this above ground pool landscape design.
Landscaping an Above Ground Pool
Plants You Should Not Use
You need to keep a 3 foot wide space around your above ground pool free from vegetation. This is to protect the pool lining from being penetrated by sharp, aggressive plant roots.
If the pool is in the center of a lawn, the grass in this “safe zone” should be treated with a weed killer and covered with plastic. Spread a layer of rock or pebbles (as you see done in the above ground pool landscaping picture above) over the plastic to make it attractive.
Most plants have benign root systems that stay where you put them but some can creep a surprisingly long distance underground. Most of these are still harmless as their roots are weak and shallow and will not damage anything.
There are, however, a few members of the plant kingdom which have been endowed with roots strong enough to penetrate concrete.
You don’t want to plant 1 of these bullies next to your pool:
- Grasses. Some lawn grasses have torpedo-shaped roots that come to a sharp point at the tip. They grow like vines along the ground and will poke right through a pool liner.Most ornamental grasses grow in a clump so these are usually o.k. to use in above ground pool landscaping designs.I have been growing the 2 ornamental grasses used in the design above for more than 10 years. Their root systems are compact and pose no threat to your pool.
- Bamboo. This is a fast-growing grass with very aggressive roots. It is beautiful and provides a quick privacy screen. If you really want to use it, put it in a tub on the swimming pool deck. Do not set the tub on the ground lest the roots escape through the drainage hole.
- Ficus trees. The roots of some Ficus species can lift a concrete walkway.
- Above Ground Pool Landscaping with RocksLandscaping with rock is always a good idea around an above ground pool. You can always find stones in colors that compliment the color of the pool deck.The river rock mulch used here is so pretty that you would want to plant sparsely to avoid covering it up.I’m not sure what the hedgehog-sized shrub in this picture is but any of the compact globe-shaped Arborvitae would suffice. Thuja occidentalis ‘Woodwardii’ will grow into a 3 foot always green mound in zones 2-5.But the colorful foliage of Thuja occidentalis ‘Sunkist’ would provide a seasonal color show. Its lemony spring leaves turn orange in winter. It is less hardy than ‘Woodwardii’ being recommended for zones 3-7.Arborvitae take center stage in this above ground pool landscaping picture. The taller plants look like Thuja occidentalis ‘Pyramidalis’ which can reach a height of 20 feet or more with a 4 foot spread.These could be used, all by themselves, as a privacy screen as they grow thickly enough to prevent prying eyes from peering through. They are evergreen and can be planted on acid or alkaline soils. They rarely need trimming.If you like this look but want something smaller, consider ‘Degroots Spire’ Dwarf Arborvitae . With a mature height of 12 feet, it is much shorter than ‘Pyramidalis’ but that’s not the only difference.This cultivar turns bronze in the winter. Imagine how striking that would look against the brown decking here. ‘Degroot’s Spire’ is also more cold and drought tolerant than ‘Pyramidalis’. It needs only occasional pruning and is unattractive to deer.The more compact shrub near the stairs is a Pygmy Globe Arborvaitae Thuja occidentalis ‘Pygmy Globe’ is a low maintenance, dwarf evergreen which grows slowly to a mature height of about 4 feet.It will maintain the shape you see without you having to prune it.Above Ground Pool Deck LandscapingThe planters in this above ground pool landscaping picture look built in.If you have not got built in planter boxes, this Planter Bench With Two Planter Boxes Kit could be the next best thing.Just stain or paint it to match your deck to give it a custom made look.The arbor swing is a romantic seating choice.