A swimming pool is often on the wish list for the backyard but may not be on the reno budget for several years.
If you’re landscaping from scratch and you would like a pool in your backyard down the track, make space for it as you lay out the garden.
The future pool site should be earmarked for temporary gardens or as a play area, but don’t plant trees or erect any structures that will be difficult or expensive to remove.
Also plan ahead for access to the site, as digging equipment will need to be brought in and soil and rocks removed during the excavation and pool installation process.
TIP Access can be through the garage if there is a door on the garden side.
Choose a location
The ideal place for a swimming pool is an open, sunny spot. It can be any size, from a traditional kidney shape to a narrow lap or small plunge pool where space is limited.
Create the illusion of a larger yard by investing in glass fencing. While still meeting safety requirements, glass panels make the pool a feature and keep the views open.
The fence must be kept free of plants that could assist a child to climb over it, so don’t try to hide pool fencing with shrubs, strongly branched climbers or trees.
Instead, opt for plants with soft stems or foliage like agapanthus or dwarf New Zealand flax.
Prevent leaf drop
Leaves falling into the swimming pool from overhanging or neighbouring trees is a common problem.
Minimising the number of trees around a pool is one solution, but it also eliminates any welcome shade.
Deciduous trees are a great choice for poolside planting. A pool cover can be used to keep the water leaf-free during the cooler months of the year when they drop their leaves.
Shadesails are an alternative to poolside trees. They come in a large range of colours and sizes, and are available at hardware stores or can be custom-made for your site.
Hibiscus are very popular plants to grow by the pool in frost-free, warm to tropical climates.
Featuring brightly coloured flowers in red, orange, yellow, pink and white, they range from a compact 1m high to 3m tall plants. The dwarf varieties bear small flowers over many months.
When selecting hibiscus, choose a variety that will grow to a height and width to suit the space. Spring pruning sets up the plants for good strong growth and a long flowering season.
To keep hibiscus flowering all summer, mulch them with a 70mm deep layer of organic matter. Feed monthly and regularly remove spent flowers to encourage more blooms.