Privacy, safety, beauty and convenience are some of the considerations to keep in mind when landscaping around swimming pools.
Plants provide beauty and privacy around a swimming pool. They soften the harsh lines of swimming pool equipment and help swimming pools to blend more naturally with the surrounding environment. If you grow plants that are tall enough, they will form privacy screens around the pool area. But plants must be chosen wisely. Strive for low-maintenance plants. For instance, you don't wan't large deciduous trees around a swimming pool, as you'll end up fishing all those leaves out of the water! Even needle-bearing evergreen trees can be messy. A good alternative is a broadleaf evergreen such as holly. Avoid fruit trees: not only are they messy, but the fruits attract bees. And as beautiful as flowers are, be aware that they, too, can be bee-magnets. Even worse, plants with invasive root systems can damage a swimming pool over the years.
Fencing around swimming pools is a must when small children are present, for the purpose of safety. The right fence design can also offer you privacy. If you don't like the look of a fence, soften it by training vines to grow over it; the vines will enhance privacy to boot. Another safety feature around pools is outdoor lighting.
Patios or pool decks provide not only beauty, but safety for swimming pool areas. Climbing out of the swimming pool, you can be assured of a slip-resistant surface to land on with a scarred concrete patio. If you opt for a brick patio instead, be sure to keep the surface of the bricks rough (you'll have to clean moss off patios periodically). For convenience around swimming pools, nothing beats a closed gazebo in which you can change into/out of your clothes and relax in the shade. Outdoor furniture also affords convenience around your swimming pool, as do barbecue equipment and outdoor furnaces.
And you'd better keep some sunscreen in that gazebo....
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