You have the pool of your dreams, but now it’s time to think about the landscape around your pool. Enhancing your pool area with plants and flowers adds depth and color to the landscape and can also provide privacy, shade and wind protection. You may already have your favorite plants in mind, however, they may not be the best choice when grown around or near a chlorinated or saltwater pool. Plants that are “pool-friendly” need to be able to survive and thrive in semi-to-full sunlight, be wind tolerant (due to the typical exposed nature of pool decks), as well as be able to hold up to the occasional chlorine or salt exposure from splashing. Regardless of your pools design (free form, geometric, lap or infinity), you want to choose the right plants, trees and shrubs for your outdoor pool area, saving you money, time and effort in the long run.
Determining your Landscape Design
Before starting your garden, you want to have a well thought out design plan. There are many options to do this yourself, such as website research, books or gardening courses; or you can hire a professional. If you choose to hire a landscaping company to plan out your outdoor space, make sure you do your research and make sure they’re licensed and recommended. Remember, you are protecting your investment!
Here are some things to consider when designing your landscape:
- Personal Taste. Do you like a formal or informal setting? Do you prefer simple, clean lines or complex designs? If you don’t know off the bat, take a look at the design inside of your house – it may help you determine what you will like outside of your house.
- Colors. Most people have a favorite color or combination of colors. You can see this in what you choose for your home’s interior decor and even in your own fashion choices. There are such a huge array of colors and color combinations, you want to choose ones that reflect your personality and accent your pool.
- Maintenance. How much time are you willing dedicate to maintaining your garden? Or, will you hire professionals to take care of the upkeep? Making these decisions ahead of time will help not only determine the complexity of your design, but also the plants you choose to enhance your outdoor space.
- Budget. Money is never fun to talk about, but the reality is that if you don’t, you’re probably not going to end up with the end result you truly want. Make sure you know how much you want to invest in your landscaping, and also determine it it can be phased out over time. According to Better Homes & Gardens, you might figure on spending 5-10 percent of the value of your home on a landscape upgrade and expect to get most of it back right away.
Tips for Selecting Plants
- Choose low-litter plants. You’ll want to select plants that have drop minimal leaves, as well as ones without thorns, seed pods and spines. These plants mean less time vacuuming the pool, and less effort from the filtration system.
- Avoid robust root systems. Species like umbrella or bamboo may look amazing above the ground, but below they have invasive and destructive root systems that can damage underground water pipes, pool paving and even the pool shelf. Additional species to avoid are messy melaleucas (a tree that is invasive to Florida), rubber trees, and deciduous trees (trees that drop leaves in the winter). You’ll also want to keep an eye out for plants that are prone to diseases and pests as pool water and pesticides are not a good mix.
- Spring brings pollen. And we get a LOT of pollen in Florida. There’s really nothing we can do to prevent microscopic pollen from getting into our pool water, but regular pool maintenance through sprint will ensure the pollen doesn’t wreak havoc on your cleaning and filtration system. Make sure you regularly clean baskets, and, if your pool is becoming overwhelmed by pollen, try attaching a cheesecloth or pantyhose (any fine material) to your pool skimmer before cleaning the pollen from the pool surface.
- Monitor new plants. When a plant is first put into the ground, you need to take special care of it until its established. Make sure you are regularly deep-watering the plantings when they’re first put in the ground and during dry periods, do this at least twice a month. Seedlings and smaller sized plants will need protection from the sun. Add plenty of mulch around these plants – it helps retain moisture and regulate the soil temperature.
- Saltwater swimming pools. If you have a saltwater system for your pool, you’ll need salt-tolerant coastal species. Plants that are ideal species to plant near saltwater are: bromeliads, agave attenuata, palms, cycads, and dianells. You’ll want to look for plants with furry, silvery or waxy leaves like bromeliads, agaves, aloe, yucca and cycads.
- Chlorinated swimming pools. No plants are adept to be splashed by chlorine water all day, but some that are particularly hardy are: erigeron daisy, murrayas, cordylines, acalyphas, golden cane palms, star jasmine or agaves. Look for plants that have large leathery leaves.
Pools by Bradley is Here for YOU
Everyone here at Pools by Bradley lives and breathes our mission of designing and building your ultimate outdoor pool atmosphere. We intend to inspire you to improve the recreational time you spend with your family and friends in your new outdoor environment. BUT – we especially want to protect your investment! Our motto is “take care of the customer and everything else will take care of itself”. When you choose Pools by Bradley to help you build your dream pool, you can rest assured that you’re choosing the very best. As a local family owned and operated company founded in back 1996, we have received numerous design awards and honors. Pools by Bradley is rated as one of the top 50 pool builders in the U.S., plus recognized as the “Best Pool Company” in Orlando by Orlando Magazine several years in a row! We offer custom built pools and spas with additions ranging from water features and lighting effects to rain curtains and water slides…the sky’s the limit! Contact us online or call us today at 407-323-7496 to see how we can help you build the pool of your dreams!