July 26, 2007

Basic Pool Landscaping Ideas

pool landscaping

Do you have a swimming pool in your backyard and want to create the perfect landscape to surround the pool? It can be quite easy to incorporate simple, easy landscaping into the backyard that works to make the backyard a pleasant, livable space for warm weather months.

Of course, you want to create a landscape that will include lush plants but yet you do not want the landscape to add any additional maintenance burden to caring for the pool. Avoid adding any deciduous plants so that leaves will not be shed and blown by the wind into the water of your pool, causing you to have to fish the leaves out with a pool net. You’ll also want to avoid the use of evergreens such as pines that lose needles which can end up clogging filters and adding extra work to pool care. Also, avoid planting flowering plants which can lose their blossoms, resulting in flowers floating in the [pool]. You’ll also want to cover the ground with mulch, gravel, or other ground cover to prevent strong winds from blowing soil into the pool and overworking your swimming pool filter system.

Plants Provide Privacy

One aspect of pool landscaping you will certainly want to incorporate into the landscape are plants that provide privacy. If you have a privacy fence, it can be made more attractive by planting climbing vines such as honeysuckle or Mandeville. If you do not have a privacy fence and do not wish to build a fence in the backyard, you can create a sense of privacy by planting tall, leafy plants along the sides of the backyard or by placing large, lush potted plants along the edges of the concrete surrounding the pool. While plants may not provide a complete wall of vegetation, large, leafy plants can provide enough privacy to make the swimming pool a more comfortable place to sun and swim. Some good choices for potted plants include the schefflera, palm trees of various species, crotons, and evergreens which do not shed needles such as cedar. These potted plants can be moved indoors or into a protected area for the hard freezes of winter if you live in a cold climate.

To add a sense of whimsy to the backyard swimming pool area, you can add lighting effects to your privacy plants. Outdoor Christmas lights, all in white, are popular for twining among the leaves and trunks to create a feeling of the night’s stars brought down to earth. You can add spotlights to highlight your specimen plants as well and create a sense of warmth as well as showing off your plants. You can choose small spotlights that are operated by solar power to help the environment as well as your electric bill. Both outdoor Christmas lights and solar powered feature lighting are very affordable ways of adding to the backyard swimming pool.

You can add short ornamental grasses planted along the edges of the concrete surrounding the swimming pool, leaving an opening in the plants where the pathway or walk way to the pool meets the pool surround. Variegated Japanese sedge is great for this purpose, or you might prefer asparagus fern for hardiness and ease of care.

Add Small Potted Specimens

If you have a patio or deck near the swimming pool, you can add small potted specimen plants to these areas. Comfortable, yet sturdy, outdoor furniture is a must for sitting by the pool. Add tiki torches or solar powered lighting to the patio or deck to give your seating area a homey feel for nighttime entertaining outdoors during summer months.

It only requires a small investment and a little time to make your backyard pool become a focal spot of your landscape. You’ll enjoy the results of your labors both day and night during warm months.

Filed under Landscape Garden Ideas by landscapeliving.
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May 26, 2007

Yard Ideas for Entertaining

yard

During the spring, summer and fall months, you may wish to do the majority of your entertaining outdoors. You’ll want to have an attractive yard that will provide a welcome spot for your guests to enjoy for barbeques, picnics, or just for visiting together and enjoying the company of friends and family members during both daytime and evening get togethers.

Incorporate lush plants into your landscape to add a sense of privacy as well as to bring the tropics into your yard. Palm trees can be placed in large pots on plant dollies with wheels along the perimeter of the yard, or in temperate climates these specimen plants can be planted in the ground. Schefflera trees are another good alternative for pots or in-ground plantings, depending on your locale. Add a special touch for entertaining by twirling tiny white Christmas lights onto the trunk of the palms as well as along the fronds. Add them to the trunk and limbs of other plants to add mood lighting for entertaining. Another yard idea for [entertaining] as well as everyday living is to add solar powered lights underneath your best specimen plants to highlight them. The warmth and welcoming, homey feel that lighting adds to the yard will make you and your guests feel cozy and comfortable.

Swimming Pool Fun

If you have a swimming pool, pond, or other water feature in your yard, an idea you might love for entertaining is to add floating candles to the water. This adds elegance and makes the water feature become an entertaining asset rather than simply a body of water. Floating candles can be found at your home or pool supply store. These candles can also be ordered from online sources. A popular design for floating candles is the white water lily design, but other shapes and colors are readily available.

Outdoor furniture that is already on your patio can take care of most of the seating for a small party, but if you are hosting a larger event, you’ll probably want to drag the dining room chairs and other portable seating outdoors. You might also purchase some inexpensive molded plastic stackable chairs that you can use again and again for entertaining. These plastic chairs are surprisingly comfortable and cost only a few dollars each at your local discount store.

Back Yard Entertaining

To create a perfect table for entertaining in your back yard, try this idea: purchase an inexpensive hollow wooden door from your building supply store. Ask for a flawed door which you can buy at a very low price. Use two end tables or stacked plastic crates to create pillars to hold each end of the door. Then cover the door with a large sheet or table cloth in any color that blends with your overall color scheme. You’ll have a great place to serve food and drinks for only a few dollars. After the party, you can store the door in your garage or storage room until you need it again. Use a grouping of pillar candles in various heights placed on a platter to make a great centerpiece.

Luminaries also add a welcoming feel to backyard entertaining. To create luminaries, simply gather together some white or brown paper bags in a small size. Look for “lunch bags” in your local superstore or grocery store. Using clean sand, place about two to three inches of sand in each bag. Place a tea light or small candle in the sand. Place the luminaries along walkways, around the swimming pool, and use them to direct guests to your backyard from the driveway. When it is time for guests to arrive, simply light the candle for a very dramatic effect that is very affordable.

Filed under Landscape Garden Ideas by landscapeliving.
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