Once seen as a luxury, swimming pools have become a common addition to the backyard creating the need for a distinct type of landscaping. The addition of lush plants around your new swimming pool will transform your yard and complete your backyard oasis. Well planned landscaping can add backyard privacy, shade from hot sun, control traffic flow, establish borders and help prevent erosion. Container plants, ground covers, trees and shrubs are our favorite ways to embellish an empty yard around a beautiful inground pool solving the need for privacy, shade and beauty.

Inground Pool Landscaping

Container Plants

The combination of pot and plant can add a beautiful sculptural quality and soften the feel of a hot flat pool deck. Large containers filled with blooming botanicals allow you to incorporate spilling plants around your pool where it would otherwise be impossible for them to grow. Large pots of flowering plants can contain fabulous but aggressive specimens that might otherwise take over a garden bed. Outdoor containers also enable the homeowner to take delicate favorites inside when frost threatens. Potted shrubs with a vertical shape can function as moveable dividers to create more intimate spaces on a large patio near a pool. Annual flowers, bulbs, miniature roses, small shrubs such as azaleas, and even small trees are not only great candidates for container culture around your pool but will add instant color and  beauty.


Groundcovers are a durable, attractive and low-maintenance lawn substitute for around the pool area. It’s particularly appropriate for small spaces around a pool because it does not need mowing or trimming. It also works on slopes, where it keeps a well groomed appearance with little effort. Many groundcovers require less watering and fertilizer than most lawn grasses, and many groundcover plants flourish in sites hostile to lawn grasses – deep shade or hot, dry slopes. 

Inground Pool LandscapingShade Your Pool with Trees

Planted between a pool and the street, trees can serve as a living fence, muffling street sounds and providing much needed shade.

Older large trees deserve particular attention when planning a landscape around a new pool. Rather than cutting them down, consider preserving large attractive specimens and incorporating them into the master plan. Discuss having smaller trees moved to more suitable locations before digging your pool. In many cases moving a tree is less expensive than buying one of similar size.

When planting trees around an existing inground pool, determine what tree is best for the spot and how close it should be. Too often large trees crowd yards and drop leaves in the water  because the person who planted them lacked a clear understanding of their adult size.

Screen Your Pool with Shrubs

Does the location of your pool allow everyone around to check on the progress of your tan? The addition of tall shrubs can add some much needed privacy. Planted screens may take a few years to fill in completely, but they generally cost less than constructed screens and offer a softer, more natural look. For most folks, an informal screening shrub is more practical. It requires only occasional light pruning to control its size, while allowing the plant to assume its natural shape. When selecting shrubs for privacy, look for vertical growing dense plants that will maximize your space and can grow to their full size without constant care and maintenance.