Enjoying summer with a backyard pool is certainly a memorable experience. A well designed and landscaped backyard oasis, however, can be magical. Inground pool landscaping offers homeowners the ability to transport themselves to the tropics as well as increase the value of the home. Turn your simple splash pad into a stylish slice of paradise with these tips on how to landscape around your inground pool. 

Hardscaping & More

From rustic stone pathways and full concrete pool decks, to privacy fences and retaining walls, hardscaping is a foundational part of any pool landscape. These are hard or solid materials that define and organize the living features of the design.

If your backyard houses an existing patio, consider complimenting that aesthetic with the pool hardscape. Extend the same limestone or a similar tile around the pool to create a uniform look across the yard. Also imagine the path your pool guests may take from the house to the water. Will they walk through grass and track it into the pool? Create safe walking paths for pool goers using clean-lined patio pavers or natural-cut stones that are comfortable for bare feet. 

With any landscaping decision, be sure to consider the amount of maintenance required for the materials you select. Some homeowners dislike the idea of a full concrete pool surround, but it’s a clean, low-maintenance option every pool owner should at least evaluate. Certain stones can shift with changing seasons and leave room for weed growth. But, if they achieve the style in mind, it might be worth the extra work. 

Finally, highlight the architectural features of your hardscape with strategic lighting. Pathway lights, recessed step lights, artistic spotlights and more will make the hardscape safe and sophisticated.


Adding plants near a pool adds character and style to the landscape, but it’s wise to select low-maintenance options that won’t regularly drop leaves and other debris into the water. Here are a few considerations when choosing plants for poolside landscaping: 

  1. Maintenance level
  2. Size/shape
  3. Scent
  4. Unifying look with existing plants
  5. Privacy

Start with a collection of 70% evergreen plants and shrubs with 30% annuals. This mix allows for both year-round greenery (that won’t find its way into the pool filter) and a colorful variety of flowers. Succulents have become a popular poolside selection, but stick with varieties without thorns/needles as swimmers will be walking nearby with plenty of exposed skin. For a dramatic option that’s free of thorns, try low-maintenance ornamental grasses like bamboo, blue fescue or lemongrass. To add a pop of color and complement the pool’s bright blue water, check out hibiscus, birds of paradise, bromeliads or other tropical plants.  

Furniture & Shade

When it’s time to dry off and grab a drink, you’ll need some seating and tables to kick back and relax. Think about furniture for both comfort and conversation. Build in room on the pool deck for lounge chairs to maximize a sunbathing routine. If you like to entertain guests regularly, add plans for outdoor furniture that includes dining tables, chairs and maybe even an outdoor sectional. Perhaps an outdoor bar with barstools fits in the plan, too. 

One element that’s easy to overlook when planning a pool landscape is shade. By installing a shade structure like a gazebo or pergola, pool owners add depth to their landscape while also providing a retreat from the sun’s rays. These structures double as privacy tools, or you can avoid a permanent installation by adding colorful umbrellas around the pool instead. 

Ask An Expert

To maximize the aesthetics and efficiency of your backyard, work with an expert who’s well versed in pool landscape design. Talk to Brothers Grimm.

Our expert designers and builders can transform your space into a backyard oasis of your dreams with stone walks, fences, slides and even changing rooms. Contact us today to learn more about our custom pool landscaping and design service.