Exterior Pools & Water Features

11 Pool Landscaping Ideas for Creating the Ultimate Outdoor Oasis at Home

Find some inspiration to transform your backyard pool area into an outdoor oasis with one of these artistic and aesthetically pleasing pool landscaping ideas.
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Refreshing Backyard Pool Makeovers


A backyard pool offers the perfect place to cool down in those hot summer months. With the right landscaping, backyard pools can be so much more than just a cool place to take a quick dip. They can convert the space to a true outdoor haven. Whether you’re looking to add a new pool or to upgrade the landscaping around your existing one, use these pool landscaping ideas to gain some inspiration to create a truly breathtaking space in your own backyard.

Related: 7 Easy Budget-Friendly Backyard Makeovers

Lush and Luxurious


Adding some gorgeous greenery around the pool can enhance the look of the deep blue water and make it even more inviting. Consider placing lush bushes around the perimeter of the pool to frame it and draw attention to the space, while also offsetting and softening the hard look of stone or concrete around the pool. Bushes, trees, flowers, and other plants can also provide a haven for songbirds and provide a truly natural feel around the pool.

Related: 7 Easy Budget-Friendly Backyard Makeovers

Elegant Evening Entertaining


Think about how the space will look in the evenings as well. Floating pool lights (available on Amazon ) can help set the right mood and create an inviting, or even romantic, environment. Even more than that, though, they can highlight landscape and design elements that would disappear in the dark. Or add a few solar lights near landscaping around the pool. Many modern outdoor light fixtures offer remote control for easy lighting and color-changing bulbs that can enhance the mood and atmosphere to match any event.

Simple and Sophisticated


You don’t have to “go big” to make a big impact. Keeping things simple by using both dark- and light-colored geometric pavers around the pool can transform even the smallest of pools into a modern and refined space. Add some touches of green and string patio lights (available on Amazon) to complete the look.

Peaceful Privacy


Adding bushes and trees around a pool can serve a dual purpose. In addition to creating an appealing and inviting space, trees and shrubs can function as a natural privacy wall. When choosing trees or bushes to place around a pool, look for plants that are easy to maintain and have the appropriate shape and proportions for your space—when they mature! It is also critical to select plants that are suitable for the local climate. Also consider the color, texture, and scent that they will add to the outdoor area.

Stairway to Cool


Add stunning wooden steps spanning the length and/or width of an above-ground pool to bring dimension to the space, while also making it easier to access the pool or lounge along its side. Consider placing a few large decorative planters (available on Amazon) to add vibrant flowers or other color vegetation along the steps. Planting lush green bushes or trees along the other sides of the pool can tie the look together.

Symmetrical Serenity


For a truly peaceful and breathtaking transformation, create a symmetrical design using the pool shape, pavers, and greenery. Rather than sticking with a traditional rectangular or oval pool, allow each side to jut out with a subtle design mirroring one another. Continue the symmetrical theme by adding the same number of palm trees or other tropical plants to each side of the pool.

A Pool with a View


Imagine being able to swim or relax in a pool while enjoying an unobstructed view of the mountains, trees, or landscaping in the area. An infinity pool can make this all possible, while also doubling as an artistic addition to the space. Carefully place some tropical trees, plants, filled containers, or other greenery around the pool to enhance the view and complete the picture perfect image.

Entrancing Embers


The soft flickering glow of flames can bring a level of tranquility to any outdoor space. Adding one or two fire pots (available at The Home Depot) around the pool will create an oasis perfect for relaxation. Consider placing some glass fire beads (available on Amazon) in the fire pits to reflect the flames’ dancing lights on the water’s surface.

Add a Touch of Greenery


If you have a spacious wood or stone deck around the pool, break up the space with some thoughtfully placed greenery. Adding patches of grass with small shrubs or flowers on either side of the pool and in a few other areas around the deck can define the space and add visual appeal. Plus, grass feels good on those wet, bare toes!

Deck the Destination


Extending a deck to the side of an above-ground pool makes it easier to access the pool, plus it can give the illusion that the pool is built into the space. Incorporate some color and make the area more inviting by adding a mosaic side table (available on Amazon) with some flower pots or large planters (available on Amazon) on the deck area. 

Planning Guide: Above-Ground Swimming Pools

Take Inspiration from Nature


Create your own backyard lagoon by placing lush, tall trees and bushes right up to the edges of the pool around its perimeter. Adding other natural elements, such as large rocks along the bottom of the pool or a cascading waterfall, can help convert the space into a private tropical retreat.