Pool Surrounds: Gardens and Features

December 22, 2017


Adding a small garden plot or some potted plants around the pool helps to break up long swaths of paving and adds an attractive natural element to your design. A thin garden strip along a boundary wall is an excellent spot for tall shrubs or bamboo, which both add a pop of colour and conceal the fence a bit. Just remember that you don’t want to plant anything that sheds a lot of leaves directly next to the pool, as it will be a headache to clean up. You’ll also want to consider whether the plants you choose can survive having some chlorinated water splashed on them, especially if young kids will be playing in the pool.

Another way to add some interest to your pool is to add a feature: a point of interest in the design that draws your attention and helps to anchor the space.


A tree can act like a sculpture in your pool design, adding height, texture, colour, and shade. If you don’t have the space for a tree, a tall shrub in an ornamental pot or urn also works fantastically as a feature.

Raised wall

A raised wall along a portion of one edge of a pool can create a striking backdrop for the pool, as it can be painted, tiled, or covered in stone to coordinate with the rest of your design. Your pool builder can also add a water feature to cascade down the wall, adding sound and movement to the pool area.

Swim-up Bar

Swimming pool designs vary greatly, but as long as you have ample space in the shallow end of your pool, you can add some stainless steel or concrete stools to create an in-pool seating area where friends can enjoy a cool drink while still relaxing in the water. This works perfectly if your pool is designed so that the shallow end faces a pavilion where there are kitchen or bar facilities where you can serve up the drinks!


A durable outdoor daybed is a great spot to keep your towel or book while swimming, and it can also be a great feature in your space. Bright cushions or throw pillows add a splash of colour and can really tie together elements of your design. You can opt to go for a moveable model that can be shifted around the pool or build a fixed model from brick, timber, or concrete, which can also add some texture to your space.

Fire Pit

An area for a fire creates a fun gathering spot for friends and family all year round. While built-in wood fireplaces are beautiful, they require a larger space and budget for building a chimney. Gas and ethanol fires need a less complicated installation but don’t provide as much heat. A steel bowl for wood fires, while the simplest option, is still an attractive feature and has the added benefit of portability around the swimming pool.

Read More:

Pool Surrounds: Shade Shelters and Sun Lounges

Pool Surrounds: Paving


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