14 Above-Ground Pool Landscaping Ideas You’ll Want to Copy

Your pool landscape design is sure to make a splash with these ideas.

By Emily Benda Gaylord | Published Jul 31, 2023 4:51 PM

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Large, rectangular above-ground pool surrounded by beautiful natural home landscaping

Photo: istockphoto.com

Above-ground pools remain a popular and budget-friendly option for creating a fun and refreshing outdoor spot. If you want to install an above-ground pool, you may be wondering how to place it so it seamlessly flows with the rest of your backyard. The good news is that intentional landscaping around pools and throughout the rest of the yard will incorporate an above-ground pool into your space as if it had always been there.

Take inspiration from these above-ground pool landscaping ideas to elevate your backyard pool into a summer oasis.

RELATED: How Much Does an Above-Ground Pool Cost?

1. Pick a Round Pool

If you’re considering installing an oval or round above-ground pool, you’ll find a round pool to be the more cost-effective option. Oval pools require a poured concrete pad underneath and additional bracing along the walls, costing more in materials and labor. To save even more on labor costs, try installing the pool yourself. This above-ground pool was purchased from Crestwood Pools in North Carolina and was installed by the homeowners.

2. Level It Up

This clever design feels like a luxury resort and makes an above-ground pool seem like a more expensive in-ground structure with multiple levels. Among the more involved above-ground pool ideas, this design features a main-level bar with stone barstools near the pool’s edge for guests to chat and enjoy poolside refreshments in and out of the water.

3. Decked Out

Above-ground pool built into a wooden deck

Photo: istockphoto.com

A raised deck is a simple way to elevate the look of an above-ground pool in your backyard. You can install low-maintenance composite decking for little upkeep or go with traditional wood as a more budget-friendly option. This deck also includes an attached upper deck that’s in line with the pool’s surface to let swimmers take a break and catch some rays.

4. Keep Calm and Rock On

Above-ground swimming pool built into deck and surrounded with small river stones

Photo: istockphoto.com

Most landscaping pros recommend surrounding your above-ground pool with gravel since it can stop water from saturating the soil around the pool, causing erosion. This above-ground pool features a rock border with path lights placed throughout to provide light for evening swims. The brick path to the pool deck creates a polished finish and adds distance to protect the rest of the yard.

RELATED: 7 Important Things to Know About Above-Ground Pool Maintenance

5. Matching Materials

Looking for border landscaping ideas around an above-ground pool? Matching the hardscape around your pool to the style of the pool’s border and other structural parts is a great way to make an above-ground pool look more expensive. Here, the surrounding vinyl deck and fence blend effortlessly with the style of the pool’s framework.

6. Plant Shrubs

Rectangular above-ground swimming pool on gravel surrounded by trees, shrubs, and flowers

Photo: istockphoto.com

Surround your above-ground pool landscape with plenty of trees and greenery for an intimate ambience. Here, tall pine trees, shrubs, and hydrangeas make this pool feel tucked away. The gravel floor is an effective, yet cheap above-ground pool landscaping option that requires minimal upkeep and allows plenty of drainage. If you want to plant your own shrubs but don’t want to wait too long for them to reach optimal privacy height, try planting hydrangeas or lilacs, which are known to be fast-growing shrubs.

7. Pool House Destination

Nothing makes an above-ground pool seem more luxurious than an entire pool house to enjoy before and after swims. The pool house and pool deck have multiple seating arrangements for guests to lounge in the sun or relax in the shade. The gated entry to the deck is a smart safety add, too, to prevent little ones from accessing the water without supervision.

8. Take a Dip From the Deck

A backyard deck with a nearby above-ground swimming pool surrounded by plants

Photo: istockphoto.com

This above-ground pool seamlessly fits with the rest of the deck in this delightful outdoor setup. A pergola on the deck offers a place for shade after spending hours swimming in the sun. The flowers and shrubs strategically planted in front of the pool help the structure blend in with the rest of the landscape.

9. Go Long

Long, minimalist rectangular pool built into the narrow courtyard of a modern home

Photo: Secret Gardens | Photographer: Nicholas Watt

If you want to add swimming laps to your workout routine, consider adding a long, rectangular pool. This pool design is tucked away with a concrete wall and a variety of greenery. Overhead and path lighting adds to the cozy ambience and elevates the space to feel like a luxury hotel.

10. Scenic Stone Landscaping

Above-ground pool with a stone surround and stone path

Photo: istockphoto.com

Make a splash with stone like this above-ground pool complete with a stone pool surround, steps, and gravel pathway. The stone makes the pool seem more elegant and like a permanent structure in your yard. While stone can be pricey, it requires minimal upkeep. Gravel landscaping around a pool is a smart solution as well since it won’t break down and need to be replaced every season, like mulch.

11. Add Shade

Inflatable above ground pool shaded by a green umbrella in a backyard

Photo: istockphoto.com

A simple umbrella to provide shade from the afternoon sun is never a bad idea when it comes to outdoor design. The trees and shrubs nearby offer natural additional shade and privacy, a nice counterbalance to the umbrella. If you want to replicate this scene in your own yard, some of the best trees or shrubs for privacy are arborvitae, skip laurel, or privet.

12. Lawn Loungers

Above-ground pool with a wooden surround on a sloping lawn featuring several privacy plants

Photo: istockphoto.com

You don’t need a deck or a platform to relax poolside. Sometimes a simple approach works best. Just add a reclining chair or two to your yard for a perfect poolside lounge area. This above-ground pool is also surrounded by tall hedges and a wooden fence for additional privacy.

13. Pretty Pines

Oval-shaped above-ground pool with a wooden surround in a large, tree-filled backyard

Photo: istockphoto.com

This above-ground pool relies on privacy from pine trees surrounding the perimeter of the backyard. Pine trees are a great landscaping option because they keep their color all year long and are naturally resistant to disease and insect infestation. Try planting a ‘Joppi’ Jeffrey Pine or a dwarf variety of a Swiss Mountain Pine since these types of pine trees are relatively smaller than forest pines and fit perfectly in a backyard.

RELATED: How To Level Ground For a Pool

14. Among the Flowers

Above-ground Intex pool with a white metal frame in front of a fence covered by trees and flowering plants

Photo: istockphoto.com

Looking for small above-ground pool landscaping ideas? This modest-sized above-ground pool shows you can still make space for your water oasis. The brick-paved pathway leading to the wall of flowering shrubs adds a touch of elegance to the landscape and makes this pool scene feel nestled within a secret garden.