Landscaping Around Your Above Ground Pool

You’ve got your above ground pool set up and filled, now what? Well, if your newly installed pool doesn’t quite fit with the scenery in your backyard, there’s some easy landscaping you can do to make it shine as the focal point of your yard.

It’s true, above ground pools do not have to be an eyesore! With some simple landscaping around your above ground pool, you can transform your yard into your own custom, private oasis.

Fortunately, you can customize your above ground pool landscaping pretty much however you’d like – whether it’s flowers, shrubs, trees, or even patios and decks – you can really do whatever you want.

How to Landscape around an Above Ground Swimming Pool

If you plan on landscaping around your above ground pool, here are some good tips to get started:

  1. Dig out any grass that’s close to your pool, you’ll want about 3 feet to work with if you plan to do any planting around the pool.
  2. Around the pool wall or liner, build a 6 to 12″ gravel border sloping away from the pool. You can also dig and install a metal root blocker to prevent any roots from growing under the liner.
    • This will keep plants and grass away from your pool and help to drain water away from the liner and walls.
  3. Choose your plants wisely. You should pick plants that have a tendency to group together and keep their leaves. You’ll need to pick plants that do well in your environment, but perennials and evergreens are typically good choices. Choose trees with larger leaves, otherwise you’ll be skimming your pool constantly.
  4. If you’re adding mulch, keep it away from the pool walls and liner (outside your gravel border).
  5. Whatever pool landscaping you do, be sure not to obstruct your view and access to the pool.
    • Make sure your landscaping doesn’t interfere with pool safety.
    • Be sure you can access any pumps and equipment.
    • If you’re planning on taking down your pool in the winter, be sure you have clear access to the drain valve and can get to all the frame supports.

Above Ground Pool Landscaping Ideas

How you choose to landscape around your above ground pool really comes down to budget and your personal taste. Some common choices for above ground pool landscaping include:

  • Gravel with a solid border.
  • Stone patios/walkways.
  • Built-around decks.
  • Shrubs and flowers.
  • Planter boxes or pots.
  • Gazebos.
  • Half buried above ground pools.

Any of those landscaping ideas above can be customized in any way you want. Below you’ll find some different combinations of above ground pool landscaping ideas ranging from easy to more difficult.

Easy Above Ground Pool Landscaping

Some easier above ground pool landscaping is perfect for those with lower budgets or less permanent pools (i.e. Intex or Bestway easy-sets or framed pools).

Start by digging and filling your 6-12″ wide gravel strip and root block around your pool liner/wall. This will be the beginning of any landscaping your choose to do.

Next, you can use some of the ideas to follow in any combination that you like best or looks best around your above ground pool.

  1. Build a solid border around your gravel strip. 
    • With wood, stone, or recycled decking materials, build a border around your pool and gravel.
    • If this all you do, it helps to contain your gravel, keeps grass and weeds from encroaching on your pool, and creates a nice visual accent to the pool and gravel.
    • You can get creative with colored rocks.
  2. Use potted plants or planters around your pool. 
    • Potted plants and plants are good options for temporary pools.
    • It gives you the ability to change out plants.
    • Easy to change in the future.
  3. Plants directly into the ground around your pool. 
    • Choosing a variety of flowers, shrubs, and small trees to plant around your pool can make it feel like your own private oasis.
    • Be sure to select plants that don’t spread too much and plants that don’t loose small leaves.
    • You can bed the plants with mulch or ground cover, just be sure to keep any mulch away from your pool wall and liner.
  4. Build a simple walkway around and up to your pool.
    • Patio stones or dug-in timber make for easy, attractive walkways around your pool.
    • You can vary the size of the stones to allow for tables and chairs.
    • You can plant moss between the stones to create an even more attractive look.
  5. Put up a gazebo around the pool.
    • A simple metal or wood gazebo around your entire above ground pool or just a portion of it can be a great way to add a shady spot to swim in.
    • It’ll keep some leaves out of the pool too!
  6. Install solar powered accent lights. 
    • Solar powered outdoor lights are extremely easy to install and inexpensive.
    • Choose the style you like and place them around your walkway, highlighting plants, or around your pool.
    • In the evening, you’ll have some beautiful accent lighting.

More Difficult Above Ground Pool Landscaping

If you have a bit more budget or have a solid-wall above ground pool, some of these more difficult landscaping options in addition to the ones above may be right for you.

  1. Dig your above ground pool into the ground or partially into in the ground. 
    • Some solid wall pool allow you to install them dug into the ground.
    • This opens your options to all sorts of landscaping, decking, and patio possibilities.
    • It’ll take some planning though, don’t expect to dig your already set up pool into the ground very easily.
  2. Build a deck around your above ground pool.
    • A popular and attractive option is building a deck around your above ground pool.
    • The height of your deck (or partial deck) will depend on whether you’ve dug in your pool or not.
    • A deck can make your above ground pool feel like an in-ground pool.

Hopefully some of the ideas above have inspired you with your own above ground pool landscaping. Have any more ideas? Share them below!

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