Ideas of design for landscaping around a swimming pool

Ned Kampmann

A private pool is not only a key part of the “beautiful life” we are used to seeing in movies, but also an opportunity to swim every day in crystal clear water, have fun with the kids, and, of course, to fully relax and improve your health. Fortunately, nowadays there are pools of many different types. Everyone can find something to suit their needs, in terms of both cost and the characteristics of the pool.

backyard swimming pool design

Currently, designing the area adjacent to a swimming pool is not very difficult, and it is something that can be afforded by even people with average incomes.
To make your pool perfectly unique, it is a good idea to think about pool landscape design.

Also read about design ideas for small backyard pools

The best pool landscaping ideas for your backyard


That’s how the site for a typical swimming pool looks prior to its construction. There is no sign of the landscaping around the pool, as this will be accomplished later.

Before pool landscaping constructions

Before you plan and calculate the costs, you need to determine several parameters and the purpose for which the pool will be used. If for swimming, its size must be at least 20 feet in length. If this is the font after taking bath treatment, the shape and size can be much smaller. Also the design of a sauna with a swimming pool may include a Spa with Jacuzzi, or additional features for relaxation.


You should also consider the type of pool, outdoor or indoor, and how you will plan the land in terms of constructions. How will the pool design fit the shape of the area and the whole house concept in general? Will it be a light or inflatable option or capital construction for many decades inside your house? As you can see, there are a lot issues before determining the design of pool and its finishing.

Backyard swimming pool raised

Even if you have clearly identified what pool you need and where it will be, the construction of the facility will bring about a lot of additional questions. The easiest way is to contact a specialized firm where they will consider all projects, provide assistance on pool landscaping and the features to be included in the area around the pool and garden, and calculate the total cost of components.

Find out how to build a natural pool DIY

Backyard pool landscape designs

  • completely submerged, when the bowl is below the ground level;
  • partially submerged, placed in the middle of the earthen soil;
  • installed entirely above ground.

Pool landscape design

Different materials are used for the construction of the base bowl. Build clay brick walls with a thickness of 10’’ or construct formwork and pour in concrete around the rebar. Such a pool would be considered as being built from reinforced concrete. For the first two options a project would be required as well as the availability of adjacent space for the installation of pumping stations, equipment for water filtration and purification, sanitary fittings, and water heating elements.

There are demountable pools with the inclusion of plastic or metal parts. The best option for those on a limited budget is a polypropylene leak-proof design that does not require any additional installation of waterproofing. The construction of an indoor home pool should allow for the possibility of drainage. The obvious advantage of an indoor pool is that it can be used throughout the entire calendar year.

Backyard swimming pool above ground lighted

The water system can operate by means of a trough for water runoff when the pool is overflowing and a skimmer for when the water level is below the edge of the pool by 4’’, whereby water is removed through openings in the side walls. There are a lot of pool landscaping ideas based on this principle.

Swimming pool landscaping

Pool landscape design building stages

Backyard swimming pool design

The construction stages of an outdoor pool are:

  • The first stage comprises a site plan and layout design. The land area of the yard must be greater than the anticipated pool size. It is also advisable to consider the ground water level, as it may destroy the structure if it is too high. The pool should ideally be located away from trees and shrubs.
  • The second stage cannot be completed without the involvement of specialized equipment such as excavators for digging the pit. The depth and width should be 20’’ greater on each side than the size of the pool bowl itself, since this distance will be required for the construction of formwork and to mount waterproofing. However, before you start mounting, clean the entire area of roots and rubbish.
  • For a quality base to the bowl it is necessary to provide a drainage system comprised of crushed stone, sand and gravel. Next, affix the fittings for durability. Trace around the pool with mounted shuttering of solid wood with smooth edges. The thickness of the boards should not be less than 2’’.

Backyard swimming pool glass

  • After mounting the casing with struts, it is essential to choose a quality concrete for pouring. It needs to be top-class with a high level of water resistance to withstand the temperature difference. In dry weather, the concrete should be kept wet and the rest of the time covered with an impervious material to protect it from sunlight.
  • The interior of the bowl requires a finish. This can be ceramic tile, PVC coating and a waterproofing fabric. The all the wiring and necessary equipment is connected. Ideally, there should be the following engineering systems: heat, sanitation, electricity and sewerage, and this should all be taken into account when planning the location, since the installation of additional wiring can be very costly.
  • The final stage relates to quality control. Pour water into the pool and observe the water level for one week. Then take a look at the construction from the point of view of aesthetics, and start to perform water treatment.

Pool landscaping ideas with lighting

Backyard swimming pool hanging lights

Every specialist in this field will say that exterior lighting is based on several different principles, and often has a different purpose to interior illumination. The basis of this concerns the position of people in relation to the landscape. Also of importance are, of course, the general rules of decor and the ability to find stylistic architectural solutions.

These are significant moments, since the design of lamps, the lighting line, colors and accenting ultimately depends on them. Historically, the design mainly relied on two different approaches. Fans of the classics adhere to the model based on a floodlight, this being an easy way to show the natural beauty of the water. The second method is a festival of experimental art. Nothing is forbidden, and the more unusual the look of the content, the better. For this approach, it is common for the water to have a red or yellow color, and the contour of the bowl, lit from inside, as if floating in zero gravity… And the whole composition can be supplemented by music. The use of lighting in a pool landscape introduces something very special to your pool.

Underwater pool lighting



If you are choosing which lamps to position underwater, you should consider some nuances, first the brightness, and second that the power does not exceed 12 watts. Suitable for this purpose are LED and halogen lamps. An additional advantage is their durability, but on the other hand, they are fairly expensive.

Floating lights

At night the pool can be made additionally romantic or just given a beautiful design by using floating lamps. The design contains a built-in battery that requires periodic recharging. A positive factor is the absence of wires. They are most often used in ornamental ponds.

When the wind blows floating lights begin to move. If this hinders you when swimming, they can be fixed to the bottom or weighted down. Constant recharging of an enormous number of lamps may lead to some difficulties. If the sight is sunny and exposed, floating solar cell lights can be used.

LED strips

Backyad swimming pool landscaping ideas

Today LED tape is used in many ways, on ceilings, windows and other places. The manufacturers have not stopped and have now developed a pool variant. The permissible depth is limited to 4 ft. Today, they come with well-designed casing and a flexible base made of silicone, soldered to the resistors and LEDs, which are coated with a special sealant. It provides excellent protection from water without any loss of quality lighting. Therefore, experts recommend LEDs for the illumination of swimming pools for an aesthetically pleasing design. LEDs can be monochrome and RGB or full color. It is a rather affordable way to make the landscaping around your pool unique after dark.

Illumination power

Backyard swimming pool inside lighting

When buying lights, it is necessary to pay attention to the Index of Protection, otherwise known by the abbreviation IP. The value must be at least 68. The first digit signifies the level of protection against dust and the ability to withstand shock, while the second digit is the resistance to moisture.

All planned underwater lighting should have a high degree of protection from the water. This applies not only to lamps, but also to the wiring and connections. Otherwise injuries and shocks are virtually unavoidable. To illuminate 120 square feet, a 100W lamp is suitable. If the area is 200 square feet, use a 300W bulb.

Illuminating adjacent landscape around pool

Many owners surround their pool with green vegetation. In this case, to give a more vivid lighting effect, it is a good idea to make use of vegetation. The most common technique is to use a backlight at ground level together with other light sources built directly into the ground. The volume and beauty of the crowns of adjacent trees and shrubs may also be emphasized by placing string lights among the thick foliage. This technique has become especially popular over the past few years.

After all, ideas for swimming pool landscaping are limited only by your imagination.

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