Category: Pool Design

Custom Pool Landscaping: Before & After

What a difference a few columns can make! Pool landscaping can really improve the overall feel of your outdoor living space. Carey Gillam has a gorgeous home in the greater Kansas City area with a pristine backyard pool, but there was a large tree and some mismatched shrubbery at the top of the stairs leading to the pool area. This greenery was not visually appealing and created a closed-off atmosphere when you were enjoying the pool and summer sun. With the help of Second Nature’s custom design team, Carey decided to replace these trees and bushes, in order to create an open environment as soon as you walk toward the steps of the pool.

Before image of a custom pool landscaping project. Large shrubs and hardscaping blocking sun.

The large tree and shrub at the top of the stairs did not align with the gorgeous poolside environment that already existed. They were heavy and dark, blocking light from entering a section of the pool area.

After consulting with Carey about the design elements she wanted to maintain, our team decided to fully remove the tree and bushes, and install two columns with a light feature on top. This completes the flow of the existing stone wall surrounding the pool and creates a more inviting space.

Progress picture of custom landscaping project next to a pool. Columns added and shrubs removed from before.
Front view of custom poolside landscaping project. New columns added where large shrubs were previously.

We decided to keep the two potted plants at the very top of the stairs but removed all the various vegetation, etc. laying down a bed of mulch instead.

Progress photos during landscaping project next to pool. Building columns near staircase.
Photo of two columns next to pool during a landscaping project.

Carey already had a beautiful stone wall in place, so our team decided to mirror the neutral colors found in the stone and stucco the columns, topping each with a slab of coordinating stone and a beautifully intricate lamp to complete the look. Using stucco can be more visually appealing if you are trying to match an existing stone hardscape. When you try to match a stone pattern perfectly to a current piece, it will stand out and can look like it was an afterthought. By utilizing the same color palette with new material, we were able to create a hardscape that fit perfectly with the current design, allowing the eye to continue moving around the wall without interruption.

Final photos in a custom poolside landscaping project. New columns installed with lighting.
Backyard pool with new landscaping project completed. New lighted columns installed next to staircase.

Finally, we decided to landscape the space around the columns with boxwood plants. These small shrubs are easy to maintain, make excellent topiary, and liven up the space without creating a visual distraction.

New columns installed as part of a hardscaping project.
Side view of new columns next to a backyard pool staircase.

If you are interested in poolside landscaping, hardscaping, or any other custom design work, contact the pros at Second Nature! We are excited to provide you with the perfect outdoor design to help your backyard become the oasis of your dreams. For more information about pool landscaping and all the other custom landscaping work we offer in the Kansas City area, call 816-844-7733.

Swimming Pool Landscaping Ideas and Inspiration

Spending your summer days relaxing by the pool is one of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy the season. To take your pool game to the next level, you want your pool landscaping to project the feeling of a private oasis. Landscaping, décor, and furniture you choose for your swimming pool should make it feel like you are always on a vacation every time you go to your backyard. To help you make your pool the ultimate escape, here are our swimming pool landscaping ideas.

swimming pool landscaping

Swimming Pool Landscaping Plants

Choosing the plants that will border your swimming pool and provide a rich element to your relaxation goes further than strictly visual aesthetic. You have to start your plant selection based on practicality for people who will be enjoying your pool.

  • Eliminate in plants that have spines or thorns from your swimming pool landscaping.
  • Avoid plants that shed needles, leaves, cones, or any other debris that will make keeping your pool clean a hassle.
  • Try to choose plants that bloom in the early spring or late fall. The pollination time should be during periods where the pool is not in heavy use so you don’t have bees and other bugs swarming the pool area in the summer.

swimming pool landscaping plants

These qualifications will narrow your options considerably when choosing swimming pool landscaping plants. Next you need a variety of plant types including bushes, small trees, and flowers. To give you an idea, some of the most popular swimming pool plants are:

  • Hibiscus
  • Bamboo
  • Day Lilies
  • Echeveria Coccinea
  • Palm Trees including Cycads and Sago Palm
  • Apaganthus
  • Golden Euonymus
  • Agave
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Creeping Jenny
  • Papyrus
  • Aloe
  • Yucca

Having a Kansas City landscaping contractor choose and arrange the types of swimming pool plants that will border your oasis is the best way to get a professional design.

Pool Design Ideas

Your swimming pool landscaping goes beyond the plants that border your pool area. It is also about the elements of design including construction of the pool, shade, and sun areas. It is important to have professional pool contractors help you plan the design of the swimming pool itself based on your vision and space available in your backyard. A pool contractor can also recommend other elements that would provide a visual aesthetic as well as practical functions for people who want the sun or the shade. Some of our favorite pool elements include:

  • A pergola provides a private conversation area that can help pool guests escape from the intensity of the sun.
  • The poolside deck area should have plenty of furniture and a natural stone floor that does not get as hot as concrete.
  • Large natural stone blocks provide a richer sense of vacation and can act as a diving board platform.
  • If there is room, adding a hot tub next to the pool is a perfect way to incorporate more relaxation opportunities.

You can also find inspiration for your swimming pool design by investigating Houzz, like this story with 19 spectacular pools around the world.

Must-Have Pool Furniture

Relaxing by the pool is very important for a successful pool area! Here are some of the best pool furniture to add to your swimming pool landscaping.

  • Reclining chairs
  • Cushioned chaise lounges with waterproof material
  • Waterproof arm chairs
  • Sunning lounge chairs
  • Wicker sofas with waterproof cushions
  • Barstools for a swim-up bar