Installing an above ground pool can be a great way to bring the fun of swimming right into your own backyard. But let’s face it – above ground pools don’t always have the most attractive appearance, especially compared to luxurious in-ground options. Fortunately, with some strategic multi-tiered landscaping and hardscaping, you can transform a basic above ground pool into a gorgeous backyard oasis that looks like it cost much more than it did.
By incorporating multiple levels, decking, patios, rocks, foliage and other design elements around your above ground pool, you can give it an elevated look and feel that blends beautifully into your outdoor living space. Read on for some fantastic ideas to take your above ground pool from drab to fab with creative landscaping techniques and tiered features.
Design Considerations for Multi-Tiered Landscaping
When planning a multi-tiered landscape around an above ground pool, there are some key factors to consider:
Choose the Right Pool Shape and Size
The shape and size of your above ground pool will impact how you can landscape around it. Round pools are ideal if you want to create multi-levels and tiers in the yard. Their curved form lends itself well to incorporating grades and elevations. Oval or rectangular pools can work as well, but may be a bit more challenging.
Smaller, more compact above ground pools tend to provide you with the most flexibility and space to build out interesting landscaping features around them. Larger or longer pool shapes may limit the amount of remaining yard space.
Plan for Multiple Levels
A multi-tiered design is key to making an above ground pool look like it was built into the ground. Experts recommend incorporating at least 2-3 tiers or levels surrounding the pool, with each level change being at least 6-12 inches in height.
This creates dimension, depth and visual interest. The pool itself can be on the lowest level, with each ascending tier containing additional landscaping features.
Adding a deck around an above ground pool instantly gives it a more polished, upscale look. Decking also provides a perfect space for lounging poolside on chairs or chaises. Wood and composite are popular deck material choices, with composite requiring lower maintenance.
Add Gravel and Rock Elements
Rather than grass or dirt, gravel and rocks make the best ground cover surrounding an above ground pool. This is because gravel allows for proper drainage and stability. Smooth, rounded rocks or pebbles are recommended. They can complement and blend in nicely with multi-level tiers.
Pick the Perfect Plants and Trees
When selecting plants, shrubs, flowers and trees to incorporate around the pool, pay attention to sunlight exposure and irrigation requirements. Seek out low-maintenance varieties that can withstand some occasional splashing or exposure to pool chemicals.
Visually, choosing plants with bright blooms, tropical foliage or vertical form can really make the pool area pop. Accenting with a few palm trees evokes a resort-like ambiance.
Hardscaping Ideas for a Multi-Dimensional Look
Incorporating hardscaping structures and surfaces around a multi-tiered above ground pool area can provide functional spaces while enhancing the high-end aesthetic.
Build a Poolside Patio
Constructing a patio area beside the pool gives you a perfect spot for lounging chairs and tables. Use materials like stone, pavers, brick or concrete. Be sure to leave enough room for patio furniture and accessories.
Include Water Features
Consider adding water elements like fountains, cascades or splash pads to your landscaping design. The pleasant trickling sound and visual appeal of moving water creates a relaxing vibe.
Add Architectural Interest
Structures such as pergolas, trellises and arbors lend height and architectural interest to the yard. You can also use climbing vines on fences or walls to bring in greenery. These vertical elements keep the space feeling dynamic.
Incorporate Seating and Dining Areas
Having ample areas for seating and dining is key for relaxation and entertaining. Include chaises, benches, or built-in poolside seating. Also, be sure to leave room for tables and chairs so you can dine al fresco poolside.
Illuminate with Pool Lighting
Strategically placed lighting takes the ambiance to the next level during evening swims and pool parties. Opt for options like underwater spotlights, path lighting or hanging string lights overhead.
Softscaping Ideas for Natural Beauty
Complimenting the hardscaping and structures with greenery and foliage completes your landscape oasis. Here are some softscaping techniques to try:
Arrange Plants in Layers
Varying plant heights, textures and colors creates appealing dimension. Place low-growing plants in front, medium height in the middle area and tall plants in back.
Use Plants to Create Privacy
If you need to block views from neighboring properties, use trees, shrubs and tall plants strategically placed around the pool perimeter to create seclusion and intimacy.
Choose a Focal Point
Draw the eye to a specimen tree or gorgeous flowering plant. Or incorporate a statue or water feature as a standout centerpiece.
Add Vertical Interest
Trellises, vines and plants that grow upwards prevent a static, flat look. Take advantage of vertical walls or fences to add climbing greenery.
Select Salt-Tolerant Varieties (if saltwater pool)
If you have a saltwater pool, opt for landscaping plants that can withstand exposure to salt. Varieties like succulents, grasses and palm trees are great options.
When designing your multi-tiered above ground pool landscaping, be sure to incorporate these key safety elements:
- Install a fence or other barrier around the pool perimeter with a self-closing, self-latching gate to prevent unsupervised access.
- Use slip-resistant materials on pool decks and patios to prevent falls.
- Have an emergency phone or alarm system poolside in case of emergencies.
- Keep a well-stocked first aid kit and rescue equipment by the pool.
Elevating your above ground pool with creative multi-tiered landscaping and complementary hardscaping and softscaping elements can make it a true backyard oasis. Careful planning is needed to design the multi-levels, incorporate structures like decking and patios, select gorgeous plants and water features, and uphold safety.
By utilizing the techniques and ideas discussed here, you can transform a basic above ground pool into a head-turning highlight of your yard that gleams with resort-style beauty. A multi-dimensional landscape design will make your pool look incredibly high-end and allow it to integrate seamlessly into your overall backyard space.