Using Foliage to Enhance Privacy around Your Pool

April 24, 2024

You might like to consider foliage around your pool area for many reasons. While there is a huge privacy benefit, there are also some other benefits. We’re blessed in Australia because a lot of our native plants not only look great, but they’re easy to grow and care for. Let’s consider some of the main advantages of using plants and trees near the pool.

 In this article, we’re going to look at the types of foliage to use and what to consider when choosing your ideal plants. Here are some of the key benefits of poolside gardening.


Increased privacy

Privacy is the main reason that most families have foliage around the pool. Even in a level backyard, you’ll likely have neighbours with double-storey homes who could see into your yard. Most people like a bit of privacy when relaxing or having fun by the pool, and foliage certainly helps with that. It all depends on the size and layout of your yard, but adding some tall or thick flora helps to block the view of your pool from prying eyes.


Sun protection

We all love the Australian sun, especially with a backyard swimming pool. But as great as the sun is, it’s also dangerous for our health if we don’t take proper precautions. Taller trees surrounding your pool can offer some excellent shade from the harsh Australian sun. Naturally, taller trees over your pool can result in debris, and we’ll touch on this later, but with the right planning, you can get some excellent shade from nearby vegetation.


Aesthetic benefits

Plants and trees add a more natural feel to any space. Whether it’s a sprawling city park or a humble backyard, landscaped gardens look incredible. Everybody has different preferences, but most people like to relax and enjoy themselves in a natural setting. If you do, planting the right foliage around your pool can turn the space into a beautiful sanctuary. This is obviously great for the current time, but if you intend to sell the home in the future, a beautiful garden combined with your pool will make for some excellent selling points.


Wind protection

Summer days are a lot of fun, but the wind can be extremely irritating. Aside from rain, there isn’t much that can limit your pool enjoyment as much as wind. You need some protection, whether it’s cold gusts making you shiver or dry, hot winds. Most people don’t want to build large, solid walls all around their pools, so foliage is the next-best option. Thicker bushes and hedges are best for this, but there are plenty of ways to create a wind barrier using plants, trees and gardens.


Things to consider when choosing your plants

From eucalyptus trees to marigold plants, there is an abundance of flora that flourishes in Australian conditions. There are so many, in fact, that you’re spoilt for choice. But when deciding which plants to install around your pool, you should consider a few things.


What do you want to achieve?

Firstly, you need to clearly understand why you need foliage around the pool. Are you hoping for more privacy? Perhaps some protection from the elements? You might just want the beautiful aesthetic appeal of natural pool surroundings. Regardless of your reasons, be clear about what you want to achieve, as this will help to inform your choice of plants.

 For example, if you don’t want much maintenance, look for native plants. For shade, you’ll need something taller. If you just want privacy, something bushier and thicker will be perfect. Draw up a plan, and start researching the best plants for your needs.


Proximity to the pool

Next, you need to consider how close to the pool you need your plants. Everybody has different preferences, and again, the placement may be informed by your goals. It also depends on how much space you have available around the pool.

 You don’t want plants and shrubs so close to the pool that they’re going to make a mess. Also, if you want plants close to the pool, avoid flowering plants that might draw bees and insects to the pool area.

 If you’re going for larger trees that give you some shade, it’s best to plant them a little further from the pool so the leaves cast a shadow on the pool for the best part of the day.


Minimising the mess

Nobody wants to be constantly cleaning up messes from nearby plants, bushes and trees. While they’re great for privacy, shade and wind protection, the reality is that trees and plants are also messy. Even though evergreen trees remain green all year round, they still shed old leaves. That occurs all year round, too.

 Deciduous trees, on the other hand, only shed leaves in Autumn, so you’d only have to cover the pool or be more vigilant with cleaning for a few months of the year. Also, regarding mess, if you have plants close to the pool, make sure they’re planted in such a way that dirt and debris aren’t going to get dragged into the pool by people, animals or wind.


Damage to the pool

You might not think a simple bush or shrub could damage your sturdy swimming pool, but it can happen. Larger bushes and trees have big root systems that stretch far and wide under the ground. In the same way that roots can damage plumbing, they can also damage your pool. If you’ve got an inground swimming pool, there is a chance that roots can harm it. Roots can also damage paving and other concrete surfaces, so be wary of where you plant bushes in relation to your outdoor entertaining area.

 In addition to the underground activity, you also need to be mindful of taller foliage that you install close to the pool. Trees and branches can fall in extreme winds and storms, potentially damaging your pool. For that reason, avoid having branches hanging over your pool, as they can also be a safety hazard for people.


Safety first

The other issue with trees surrounding your pool, is that adventurous children may decide to climb them. Whether jumping into the pool from branches or just climbing for fun, this is incredibly dangerous for children around a swimming pool. 

Don’t forget the lower branches, either. Children may be able to use tree branches to climb over your pool’s safety fence. This is obviously dangerous and certainly against council pool safety regulations.  So, always ensure that children can’t gain access over your fence by climbing nearby trees. 


Follow council guidelines

Finally, once you’ve settled on some plants or trees to add privacy to your home, make sure you’re within council guidelines. Most councils don’t have a problem with your everyday landscaping and gardening, but larger trees can become an issue. For example, your small trees today can grow much larger in years to come, so if they affect power lines or any other structures, councils may have an issue. You shouldn’t have much of a problem, but it’s always best to double-check when enhancing your home in any way.


Best plants for poolside foliage

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing plants for your pool. You can get much more value by choosing the right ones, so here are a few suggestions to get you started.


Native grasses

If you’re looking for minimal maintenance, native grass shrubs are perfect. There are plenty of ornamental grasses you can buy for your poolside, and they won’t leave much mess at all. Dianella Breeze, Blue Fescue and Lomandra Lime Tuff are a few examples. The only issue with these native grasses is they don’t grow particularly tall. They may not offer a lot of protection on their own, but they’re great for breaking up a garden or creating multiple layers. For pure aesthetics and maintenance, though, grasses are a winner.


Palm trees

Having palm trees around your pool might be a little cliché, but they are some of the best choices available. Importantly, palm trees only have large leaves, so they’re not constantly dropping smaller ones around your pool. They also look brilliant and give your pool a very tropical, summery feel. Some good examples are Kentia palms, Golden Cane, Cascade palms and Bangalow palms.

The great thing is that palms come in all shapes and sizes, so you can decorate your area with multiple varieties. One note, however, is that palms typically have strong root systems. As such, don’t plant them too close to the pool or paved areas.


Birds of Paradise

A beautiful plant in many shapes and sizes, Birds of Paradise are terrific for the pool. They’re extremely hardy, so they’ll stand up to plenty of sun exposure and other elements. They can even be planted a bit closer to the pool because they don’t drop any leaves. If you choose the right type for your local climate, they can grow to be quite large and help to enhance privacy while looking spectacular.


Looking to transform your home with a swimming pool?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an enormous backyard to have a pool. Obviously, you’ll need a little bit of space, but here at Blue Haven, we’ve got pools for everybody. If you’re short on space, we’ve got plunge and lap pools. For those who really want to create a private oasis, we have mineral pools that combine wonderfully with a natural landscape. We’ve been designing, manufacturing and installing stunning swimming pools for decades, and we’re not slowing down any time soon. So, if you want to transform your outdoor space into your private sanctuary or family fun zone, contact the team at Blue Haven Pools today.

Read More:

More insights on

Follow Us On