If you’re reading this, then you want to give your backyard pool a new look. Maybe something more modern, or vibrant and futuristic. But the only thing is, pool landscaping is expensive right?
There are plenty of affordable and simple pool landscaping ideas that you can use. It’s all just a matter of how creative and resourceful you’re feeling.
Some of these pool landscaping ideas take advantage of what you already have lying around the house. Others come with a small cost up front.
But no need to call the pros – these ideas are very DIY. They’re easy to do, take less than a day, and can be done at your pace.
So if you’re ready to create a fresh and gorgeous new space for you, your family, and friends, keep reading. In this post, we show 11 simple pool landscaping ideas that you can start using right now.
A few things to do before you start pool landscaping:
- Sweep and clean the pool deck
- Rake and mow your lawn
- Pull out any weeds in potted plants, gardens, or the grass
- Remove dead plants
11 Cheap and Simple Pool Landscaping Ideas
1. Around the pool string lighting
While they look great inside, they look even better in your backyard. String lights add just the right amount of brightness to any setting.
For decorating your backyard, choose white LED Christmas lights over large bulbs.
They’re lighter, easier to set up, and WAY more energy efficient. A winning combination for illuminating your patio with a beautiful, ambient glow year round – without driving up your energy bill.
We recommend setting up lights against the walls of your pool enclosure or home, away from the water. It’s safer, faster, and reduces most of the hazards that come with stringing lights over the pool (possible electric shock, knocking them down when cleaning).
2. Underwater LED pool lighting
Looking to brighten up the inside of your swimming pool? Consider LED pool lights. They come in a variety of colors, offer quick installation, and drastically lower your energy bill. Especially if you’re replacing halogen or incandescent bulbs.
LED pool lights emit a cooler, brighter, and more vivid range of lighting. Lighting that can adapt to the occasion – whether you’re sitting poolside on a summer night sipping a drink, or lounging by the water for brunch.
Some LED pool lights can even change color, which helps you get festive for the holidays, or set the mood for warm, peaceful midnight swims.
Related: 7 Cheap Ways To Heat Your Pool
3. Fireplace lighting
Looking for a simpler, less mechanical light source for your pool? There’s nothing more natural than a firepit. It’s an active, breathing source of light that doubles as a stunning accent piece.
It catches attention, illuminates your backyard, and keeps everyone nearby warm.
Really, what better way is there to warm up on a chilly night than by huddling around a fire? It’s relaxing, comfortable, and a tradition as old as history itself.
No matter what time of a year, a poolside firepit adds the perfect ambiance to your backyard pool.
4. Stone walkway to the pool
Need a better way to get to your pool other than walking over grass? Make a stone slab walkway.
You only need enough stones to reach from the door to your pool. And there’s really no limit to how creative you can get.
Choose different color slabs for an eye-catching mosaic look, or match the tone of your pool deck for a more subtle pathway. Stone slab walkways let you add a touch of rustic elegance to your backyard in just minutes.
Plus, they help keep your pool deck and water cleaner.
5. Rock garden
Not quite ready to put your green thumb to work? Need to fill a space around the pool?
Make your own river rock garden. It’s as easy and gathering a few bags of river rocks, and filling up a bed of dirt with them. The main strength of rock gardens are the quiet, yet impactful contrast they add to your backyard.
Choose a single spot for your rock garden, or create an accent border of river rocks around your pool deck.
6. Recycled garden planters
In the mood to do some planting but don’t have any pots? Recycle your worn out car tires – they’re the perfect substitute.
If you’re due for a new set of tires soon anyway, take advantage of this pool landscaping idea. Especially if being eco-friendly is your thing – it’s much better than throwing them in a landfill.
Grab a few tires, paint them, and stack. From there all you need is dirt and plants. The rest is up to you.
7. Add some accent plants
You might already have a plant or two sitting in your backyard. So why not add a few more to liven up your swimming pool?
Poolside plants add lush textures and vibrant splashes of color that give your pool a calming, peaceful feel. As if you were in your own private island getaway. But you don’t have to start big with a full garden- a few potted plants will do.
Opt for full sun plants that don’t shed a lot of leaves. They’re low maintenance and produce the least debris.
Some of the best pool landscaping plants to include are:
- Palm trees
- Live oaks
- Aloe vera
- Octopus agave
- Red justicia
- Weeping dalea
8. Ornamental grass borders
Need something to balance out that river rock garden? Ornamental grass borders are a perfect choice.
They’re neutral yet eye-catching, resilient, and fit in pretty much anywhere.
Plant a few next to each other to form a wall, or use them sparingly as accent pieces across the pool deck.
9. Wooden pallet furniture
Want to add furniture to your backyard, but don’t have a big budget? Consider repurposing some old pallets.
Yes, the same kind of pallets you see in the floors of warehouses, hardware stores, and shipping yards.
What’s great about pallet furniture is the amount of freedom it gives you. For starters, you don’t need a lot of tools to make it.
You can stack two together to make a table, cut one in half for a bench, or create “deck” by lining them on the floor. Add a splash of color, a few cushions, and your look is complete.
10. Wall of privacy hedges or plants
Need a bit more privacy in your pool, but aren’t ready to call the fence-builders? Make a privacy wall of foliage instead.
A wall of trees or shrubs adds the perfect mix of decor and privacy.
Here are a few good trees, plants, and shrubs for privacy hedges:
- Norway Spruce
- Colorado Blue Spruce
- Green Giant Arborvitae
- Emerald Green Arborvitae
11. Glowing flower beds with rope lighting
Already have a garden by the pool? Give it a charming glow by lining the inner edges of the borders with rope lights.
With this simple addition, your garden won’t only look more attractive, it’ll be more noticeable at night too. And that adds a whole new mood to your aquatic, backyard getaway.
12. Declutter, decrease
The easiest way to start landscaping around your pool is by reducing. Decluttering. Get rid of all the stuff that doesn’t need to be there.
In the process of getting rid of junk and cleaning up, you’ll discover new opportunities for decorating the backyard. And you’ll probably find a few things you can make use of as well.
So if you’re not quite sure where to start with your pool landscaping ideas, start by getting rid of what you don’t need.
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