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15 Above-Ground Pool Landscaping Ideas To Create a Space That Everyone Can Enjoy

Having a pool in the backyard can be like having a favorite vacation spot at your fingertips. These 15 above-ground pool landscaping ideas will help enhance this relaxing oasis.

Whether you decide to maintain your pool as a standalone or enhance it with a brick patio or wooden deck, the possibilities are endless.

above ground swimming pool with flowers planted nearby.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Above-Ground Pool Landscaping Ideas

1. Add a wooden deck next to the pool

wooden deck and white beach chairs by the pool.
Image credit: Depositphotos

You can never go wrong with a wooden deck when exploring landscaping ideas around above ground pool.

I must say, I sometimes feel above-ground pools don’t get enough love for having the ability to stand alone and still shine. Typically, the most stunning of those you see are surrounded by a wooden deck.

Here are some of the benefits of having a wooden deck around your pool:

  • The pool deck is the best way to enhance the pool design and allow sunbathing once you add some seating. In many cases, it gives a natural look and does a fantastic job of emulating the consistent flow of an inground pool.
  • You can add a hot tub on the deck to solidify a water oasis right there in your backyard.
  • A pool deck is a creative idea for easy access to the pool
  • Having a large deck (a small deck can work too with a bit of creativity) around your pool is a good idea: it allows you to add a focal point (either a snack area or a floral spot), add a few chairs, and an umbrella to escape from the hot sun if needed, etc.

Don’t have a deck or not wanting to build one just yet? No worries, here are some other ways to enhance your pool design.

2. Add some ornamental grasses to the landscape

ornamental grasses behind a wooden bench.
Image credit: Depositphotos

A yard filled with healthy grass falls among the ultimate adult life achievements. Imagine your backyard, healthy and green, around and beneath your above-ground pool. How exactly can I make my pool area better, you wonder?

Ground covers.

I have ground covers in my flower beds. They are great for filling in the gaps. So, naturally, this would be a perfect way to go with upgrading the landscaping around your pool.

3. Surrond it with Mondo grass

mondo grass next to a gravel path.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Sometimes referred to as monkey grass, mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus) can be a great addition to serve as a border around your pool. It’s not actually grass, but it has no problem playing the role.

This versatile grass-like plant is a perennial that can flourish in any soil. It can serve as a ground cover or standalone. While it requires attentiveness in the establishment stages, once it’s going, it is pretty self-sufficient, outside of occasional de-clumping.

4. Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima)

Image credit: Depositphotos

This is one of my favorites when landscaping around your above-ground pool. While it can work well as an accent in the flower beds around your pool, the perfect place for these grasses would be along the pathway leading to the pool itself. They can be planted straight into the ground or potted.

5. Plant some flowers for a pop of color

bright pink petunia flowers.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Getting some vibrant color around your pool does not have to be restricted to the flower beds alone. Expand your reach with potted plants and a privacy trellis. Both allow for a pop of colors independently or collectively, making for a vibrant view and scenery around your pool.

Some of the best flowers to consider for potted plants are:

  • New Guinea Impatiens
  • Croton
  • Pentas
  • Heliotrope
  • Petunias

Some of the best plants for a privacy trellis, or flower wall, as I like to call them, are:

For more of an experience of the seaside scenery, scale back on your flowers and capitalize on the greenery and subtle plants that make you feel like you are experiencing an oasis off the coast.

6. Add some shrubs

blue bigleaf hydrangea flowers.
Image Credit: Depositphotos

Shrubs can have a dual purpose: creating privacy while beautifying your pool area. There are so many beautiful shrubs you can add! Here are a few of my favorites:

7. Create a succulent garden

potted succulents.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Succulents are low maintenance and add a lot of interest. They’ll thrive in sandy soil, and require very little of your attention. Here are succulent lists by color to choose from:

8. Create a brick/stone pathway

pastel colored cobblestoned pavement.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Whether you are deciding to go for the perfectly manicured brick walkway or one that is a little more spontaneously spaced, just have fun with it!

Natural stone pavers are available in different shapes and sizes. From a tiny pebble to dazzling gravel to large, flat cobblestones or even some smooth river rock, the aesthetic enhancement that a walkway will add to your pool landscaping is endless. If surrounded by the right plants, a walkway will give the experience of seaside scenery!

I love the above example of a walkway made from colorful stone pavers. What a fun mixture of pastel colors reminiscent of sand and water!

Maybe you would prefer to ditch the plant border and add a pool wall instead, keeping a more private pool space but opting for a more masonry look. If you want to be really fancy, add in a water feature.

9. Add palm trees for a tropical feel

palm trees against a blue sky.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

If you live in an area where palm trees survive, it’s definitely a nice touch for the landscape. Add a fruity drink, and immediately you are whisked away to somewhere much more tropical than where you started. If not, that probably means that palm trees were already indigenous to the location.

Whether it’s adding palm trees along your pool wall, around your sundeck, or simply as a standalone in small spaces, you’ll love this addition.

Complement the base of standalone palm trees with decorative rocks for an attractive rock garden or other plant life.

10. Build a privacy fence

walkway lined with boxwood.
Image credit: Depositphotos

If you want to enjoy your time by the pool, you may want to invest in a privacy fence. Of course, you don’t necessarily need to put up a wooden or stone fence. Trees and large shrubs will give you shade and provide an element of privacy around your pool area: just choose trees that won’t drop a lot of leaves, because you don’t want your entire yard and pool filled with fallen leaves.

Consider adding one or two of these privacy plants to your space.

  • Bamboo (be careful, as it can be invasive in many areas)
  • Boxwoods are a popular choice because of the ease of caring for them
  • Evergreen trees like cypress

11. Add lightig around your pool

colorful lights behind a small pool.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Nighttime swimming can be so refreshing after a hot day! The summer heat will leave the pool water at the perfect temperature to make your skin appreciate the balance of hot and cold.

For a better experience on your nighttime swim, add some submersible pool lights. Of course, adding lighting to your pool is not restricted to inside the pool; it can also be added to your pool landscaping.

String lights are probably the one trend that will never lose their place. They are perfect for creating a contemporary look and versatile enough to transform your yard into a beautiful outdoor space.

Although I would not recommend string lights around your actual pool, they are sure to create a warming and relaxing atmosphere when added to surrounding structures.

Add strings of lights to your privacy walls, large or small decks, and even around or attached to any gazebo-like structures that may be in your yard or near your pool area.

Add a light post (or two) somewhere in the pool area: it will make for easier access to the pool in the evening, make the area safer, and add a bit of character to your landscape. Here are just a few examples of light pole accessories.

12. Include a few outdoor furniture pieces

Outdoor chairs and an umbrella stand on a wooden deck.
Image credit: Depositphotos

You’ve spruced up the landscaping, explored your lighting options, and may have already decided you’ll add a deck or a gravel area for pool chairs.

So, now you need a few pieces of outdoor furniture that will be the perfect way to feel the breeze and relax by the pool. If you want to go all out, add a few entertainment pieces, such as a snack and cold drinks area and a hammock.

13. Add color through your pool decor

beach chair covered with a fuchsia colored towel.
Image credit: Depositphotos

When designing your landscape for the pool area, don’t forget the color palette. Neutral colors are always a successful route. They are flawless, and naturally, match. Yet, don’t be afraid to go bold with the bright colors that remind you of summer. You don’t have to stick to the mauve-colored umbrella. If you prefer the Fuschia one next to it, go for it.

Add a cozy gazebo by the pool

a cozy gazebo by the swimming pool, surrounded by lush greenery.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Adding a cozy gazebo or shed near the pool is great! You can create a lush environment with tropical plants or leave it simple with just a few things that might come in handy: a table with chairs where you can have a snack or play a game of cards when you need a break from the water and sun, a basket with clean, dry towels, or some games to keep the kids entertained.

Keep it simple

backyard pool by the house.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Sometimes, you just need to make it easy on yourself. If your above pool is just for the kids to have fun, keep it simple if you don’t want to spend time, money, and energy on the landscape. Just plop your pool in the backyard and enjoy!

So, how do you landscape around an above-ground swimming pool?

Pools are the epitome of summer. If you’re not traveling to a space that allows you to immerse yourself in one, you are probably surfing the web for the best cost-efficient above-ground pool to plug into your backyard.

Exploring the best landscaping ideas for above-ground pools is essential, as pool shapes and sizes available on the market can vary. I hope you found some exciting ideas for landscaping around your pool.

Above-ground pool landscaping ideas.
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Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check out her books below:

How to Grow Lavender for Fun and Profit: Lessons Learned from Planting Three Hundred Lavender Plants

How to Raise Chickens for Eggs: A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens for Nutritious, Organic Eggs at Home

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