Beginner’s Guide to Pool Landscaping


If there are three things you can guarantee in Michigan, they’re snow, car manufacturers, and pools. In fact, Michigan is the 8th leading state for pool installations, according to the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance. For many homeowners pools take up a significant portion of their available land, so figuring out ways to incorporate your pool into your landscaping projects is paramount for homeowners.

How Do I Landscape My Pool?


Like all landscaping projects, landscaping around your pool requires careful consideration. You should ask questions like:

  • How can I build privacy into my pool area?
  • What types of pool landscaping projects fit in my budget?
  • Do I want plants around my pool?
  • What kind of aesthetic look am I going for?
  • Do I need fences around my pool area?
  • Are there any special considerations that need to be made for weather, seasons, or snow?

There are four core components of any pool landscaping project:

  • Privacy: Given the nature of “pool time,” having neighbors peek in on you or your family in swimwear isn’t exactly ideal. There are plenty of privacy components (e.g., fences, vines, pillars, plants, etc.) that you can use to obstruct the view of your pool from unwanted eyes.
  • Safety: Pools are an incredibly fun past-time activity in America. But they can also be dangerous. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, drowning is the leading cause of death among children in the state. Even for adults, slipping near a pool can have disastrous consequences. Installing slip-resistant pool tiles and fences with safety locks can help reduce those incidents from occurring.
  • Looks: Obviously, looks are a huge component of any landscaping project. Not only do you want your landscape to fit into a theme, but you probably have specific goals in mind as far as appearances are concerned. Typically, clients approach us with a vision — each one more unique than the last. By combining this vision with the natural beauty of nature, you can create stunning landscapes that defy expectations and cause neighbors to do a double-take (that’s why you need those privacy structures!)
  • Function: Having adequate lighting, space, and visibility are all critical, and function should be taken into account when designing your perfect landscape.

Once you’ve taken all of those core considerations into account, you should collaborate with your landscape designer to draw up some plans and set the project into action. But you probably have a few more questions before you take that step. So, let’s look at some of the more granular details.

What Are the Best Plants to Put Around A Pool?


Without a doubt, figuring out what types of plants will work in your landscape is the most common question we get asked at Alfresco. You may be wondering, “What trees should I plant around my pool in Michigan?” or “What types of flowers can survive Michigan’s oh-so-particular weather patterns?”

In general, choosing the right plants starts with a visit to the USDA’s hardiness zone map. Michigan, unsurprisingly (we all know that weather here decides to do what it wants), falls into several hardiness zones (i.e., 5a, 5b, 6a, and 6b) depending on where you live. You can cross-reference your zone with Gardenia’s list of plant species by hardiness zone. If the plant fits in the hardiness zone, you can consider it for your landscaping project.

Remember, the hardiness zone isn’t the only consideration. Every plant species requires a different level of water, care, and space. By thinking about looks, function, and synchronicity with your other design elements, you should be able to come up with a decent idea of your planting strategy. You should always consult with your landscape specialist during this phase. Not only can they do this entire step for you, but even if you’re a “do it yourself” type, they have the experience and advice to help you make the right selections.


What Types of Landscaping Elements Should You Think About?


After you’ve decided on the natural beauty element of your landscape design, it’s time to think about man-made structures. These include:

  • Decks
  • Shade elements
  • Fences
  • Lighting
  • Tiles
  • Statues
  • Fountains
  • Hardscapes
  • Gazebos
  • Chairs and tables
  • Walkways
  • Outdoor fireplaces
  • etc.

While the focal point of most landscaping projects is certainly natural beauty, man-made objects can help tie the entire theme together.


Are You Ready to Build the Perfect Poolside Landscape?


At Alfresco, we’ve helped homeowners across Michigan build their dream landscapes. From outdoor kitchens and backyard paradises to poolside oases and front-yard eye-catchers, we build dream landscapes by combining the raw natural beauty of Michigan with a best-in-class design team and landscaping crew. Do you want to see some of our past poolside projects? Click here. Are you ready to take the next step and transform your pool into an outdoor water wonderland? Contact us.