Tips AU

35 Pool landscaping ideas for backyards

By Elise Hodge

Published: May 30th, 2020

There's nothing more Australian than cooking on the BBQ by the pool with a cold drink in hand! Bring this dream to life with a newly landscaped pool area.

Have you ever caught yourself scrolling through endless Instagram photos and Pinterest pictures daydreaming about your next summer escape? There’s no better way to do this than to create a peaceful pool oasis to not only focus on the pool, but it’s surrounding area to suit your needs. So it’s time to dive into pool landscaping!

If you don’t have a pool yet, consider what kind of pool could work in your space (above ground, below ground, lap pool, plunge pool). And if you do have a pool, think about how landscaping can enhance the area e.g. lawn, low-maintenance plants or a tropical paradise. But before you get started, I recommend asking yourself the following questions:

  • What’s my budget for my pool area?
  • Are there any restrictions for landscaping my area?
  • What safety requirements do I need to have in place?
  • What time frame do I want this projected completed in?

And now it’s time to get the creative thoughts flowing. Be inspired by 35+ amazing pool landscaping ideas.

1. Plenty of greenery

If you can’t decide what kind of plants you want in your pool area, why not go all out and combine them all? I love how this space mixes fresh purple bougainvillea with tall palm trees, towering trees, and lush leafy greens of all shapes and sizes.

Pool design
Source: Bender Architects

2. Mediterranean style

Transform your outdoor area into a Mediterranean dream with a U-shaped pool design, surrounded by simple palm trees and small shrubs. My favourite thing about this space is the mosaic tiles that climb up the columns. Plus, I love the rustic tiles – they’re a great natural choice!

Pool landscaping
Source: Houzz

3. Green wall

If you prefer to keep things more simple, then you can’t go wrong with an all-encompassing green hedge or leafy bushes. This space looks like it’s straight out of a magazine with the dark colours in the background, the bright blue pool in the foreground and plenty of space to lounge around. Looking to add a hedge to your space? Find an affordable hedge planting expert for the job!

Source: Chandra Oh

4. Desert style pool landscaping

Take inspiration from Palm Springs and create your very own desert oasis in your backyard. While you may not get the advantage of the rocky backdrop, you can still incorporate desert elements. Think minimal greenery and large rocks. And when it comes to your furniture choices, go all out with a pops of yellow and blue!

Pool landscaping
Source: Wood Note Photography

5. Santorini style

If Greece is more your style (and I mean, who wouldn’t want a Grecian-inspired space to lounge around in), then go for natural blues and whites. The key here is to keep things simple! You don’t want to go overboard with colour, but you can play around with textures and patterns. Be inspired by the gorgeous pillows around this outdoor table set.

Pool landscaping
Source: Three Birds Renovations

6. Grass pool landscaping

Just because you’re landscaping your pool area, doesn’t mean you need to plant trees! For a low maintenance option, you can always stick to green grass. All this will require is a regular mow and water, and you’re set!

Pool design
Source: Whit Preston

7. Overlooking the rolling hills

Simply looking at this outdoor space makes me feel relaxed. Can you imagine what it would feel like? Birds chirping, the breeze gently blowing as you relax with a good book in hand? These kinds of experiences don’t just have to be reserved for your annual resort trip. You can recreate this luxurious atmosphere at home!

Pool landscaping design
Source: Bar Architects

8. Among the palm trees

While living near the beach is a good excuse for planting palm trees in your yard, you don’t need a reason to plant them! Palm trees will instantly make your outdoor space feel more relaxed. And they look pretty impressive when they grow nice and tall!

Pool design
Source: Janni Olsson Deler

9. Cottage style

This home is so quaint and cute but it’s got a grand pool area to match. If spending time outdoors is a priority for you, then why not go all out with a fun installation? I love how there’s a slide going into this pool – it would be so much fun for the kids. If you’re thinking about incorporating a slide with your pool, you can make it appear more “natural” by adding large rocks on either side.

Pool landscaping
Source: House of Jade Interiors

10. Smart additions

How clever is this outdoor shower area? It provides the perfect place to shower before and after a swim in the pool. And it’s complete with handy hooks for hanging your towels! I like the simplicity of the light panelled board, which looks very natural against the lush green background.

Pool landscaping
Source: The West

On the hunt for something a little bit different, check out these other outdoor shower ideas for your home.

11. White pebbles

Add little details to your pool edging by filling any gaps. I like how the space between the large grey pavers and the timber slats has been decorated with white and natural pebbles and green succulents, which are a nice touch.

Pool design
Source: The Kira House

This is a great example of modern paving and if you want some more paving ideas or succulent garden ideas we’ve got that covered too.

12. Feature pieces

There’s a lot going on in this backyard, and it proves that landscaping around your pool doesn’t have to be boring. Steal some ideas from this space… There are the simple square pavers, the elevated fountain that pours water into the pool and the covered hut which provides a great area for entertaining.

Pool landscaping
Source: finelinesdesignstudio

13. Wild and free

While orderly pool areas are something to admire, there’s nothing wrong with keeping things a little more au naturel. Don’t be afraid to make the most of what you’ve already got, hedges, bushes and all! Just be sure to give it a little trim from time to time so it doesn’t get too overgrown.

Pool design
Source: Promenade Homes

14. Natural pool landscaping

While there isn’t a bit of greenery in view, this outdoor pool area exudes luxe relaxation and proves that not all pool landscaping requires plants. I think that less is sometimes so much more… And that’s definitely the case here. I love the simple additions of the large natural stones that form a curved barrier around the shallow end of the pool. This would make it a perfect area to splash around with your little ones.

Pool design
Source: K Studio

15. Tropical pool landscaping

From one extreme to another… Well, sometimes more is more! If a jungle oasis is more your style, go all out with hanging plants. This works especially well if you have a multi-levelled home with a balcony that you can hang vines or pots from.

Tropical pool
Source: anaire_paris

16. Large palms

This simple backyard would be perfect for any family. It’s private, quiet, and very green. The green grass to the far side of the pool makes for a great place to play with the kids, while the pool is great for a dip on a sweltering summer’s day.

Pool design
Source: Aquarêve

17. Create a waterfall

There’s nothing like the sound of trickling water! So if you want to take your pool area to the next level, why not install a cool feature piece like this one? It’ll be sure to impress guests and create a lovely ambience for your next poolside dinner party. Plus, the addition of the bubbling spa makes for a great cosy option as the nights get cooler.

Pool design
Source: pbipools

Want a feature piece of your own? Look for someone in your neighbourhood who can help with your water feature requirements.

18. Winding paths

This outdoor area has a mix of structured and unstructured elements, for a striking finish. I love the materials – there’s the grey stone path that leads to the front of the house, the winding black fence, the glass barrier and the simple grey tiles. While the garden is fairly simple, the addition of the single tree adds interest.

Pool landscaping
Source: Form Landscaping

19. Tree in the middle

If you’re looking for one way to inject the “wow” factor to your pool landscaping, then you can’t look past this design. A tree in the middle of the pool area makes the space appear extra lush. Just make sure you clean the pool regularly to prevent unwanted leaves sitting at the bottom of the pool.

Pool design
Source: The Luxury Swim

20. Coastal pool landscaping

You don’t have to plant hedges and bushes to create a beautiful pool area – this space is proof! Fill any gaps around the border of your pool with white pebbles and plant small hardy shrubs like succulents. And then add in big pots with your favourite outdoor plants. Check out the large rustic pot in the corner of this space for inspiration.

And when it comes to creating a nice area to sit, go boho and use rattan chairs, natural baskets and a bamboo umbrella – voila!

Pool landscaping
Source: The Coastal Abode

21. Indoor-outdoor

One of the great things about living in Australia is that you can spend most of the year outdoors. With this in mind, an integrated indoor-outdoor space is the way to go! I love how this design keeps things simple with natural timber decking and a strip of dark greenery along the fence.

Pool design
Source: alvarezmorris

22. Luxury pool landscaping

One way to add life to your pool area is to install large pots or boxes of flowers. This is an easy low-maintenance option for anyone who wants to enjoy the smell of fresh blooms without the added maintenance of having to trim them back all the time. Plus, they look oh-so-fancy!

Pool design
Source: amani_mcgregor

23. Bamboo fencing

Get your inspiration from the villas of Bali with a jungle-style pool area. You can recreate this look in your own yard by installing a bamboo fence and planting hanging vines along the walls. Plus, a daybed or two will help to get you in the holiday mood all year round.

Pool landscape design
Source: A Landscape Architect

24. Hamptons pool landscaping

There are few places that have more grandeur than the Hamptons. With its exclusive beaches, great open spaces and fancy architecture, it’s definitely the place to be. But while we can’t all escape to this delightful collection of towns, we can bring a bit of Hamptons luxury to our own backyards.

If you want to recreate this classic style, think plush white lounges and daybeds, and pool chairs. You really can’t go wrong with white, grey and blue – so decorate with a mix of these colours for the  perfect finish.

Pool design
Source: Rees Roberts + Partners

25. Oceanview

Sometimes there’s no need for fancy plants, colourful flowers or lush hedges because your view does the decorating for you. That’s definitely the case with this extravagant pool area.

Firstly, the long lap pool looks like the perfect place to have a morning swim in the sun. And I love how the greenery has been kept simple and low to the ground so to not distract from the ocean. Plus with views like that, who would want anything else?

Pool design
Source: Rees Roberts + Partners

26. Round pool design

It’s not often that you come across a circular pool – but here’s one and it’s gorgeous. This makes for a great choice when you don’t have a lot of space to spare and you want to make the most of every inch of your yard. As for landscaping, this design keeps things fairly simple with square cement tiles and greenery that wraps around the white fence that lines the border of the property.

Round pool
Source: The Bower Byron Bay

27. French chic

This pool area is so delightful! It takes me back a few centuries and reminds me of the French countryside. The landscaping is so elegant with thoughtfully placed greenery. I love how the timber archway on the right side of the picture is covered in lush greenery. And the little clumps of bushes around the yard make it even more magical.

Pool landscaping
Source: Architectural Digest

28. In the trees

Hideaway with a house in the trees! The cement-style exterior of this house and the pool make them blend in with the setting. The great thing about this space is that, because it doesn’t have a lot of small hedges or bushes, it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.

Pool design
Source: lucianokruk.arquitectos

29. A row of greenery

Have you got a small backyard? The good news is that you can have a pool – you’ll just have to be smart about it! I love how this little plunge pool has glass edging on one side, opening it up to the rest of the yard. And the creative use of the square cement block on the far left side as a planter is fun. Plus, the trees on the right side of the border add a lush touch of nature against the uniform timber slats that fence in the yard.

Pool design
Source: Laguna Pools

I should also mention the privacy fence around the pool area too and how the warm caramel tones in the timber work with the blue-green pool tiles.

30. Create symmetry

If you like everything inside your house uniform and in its place, then you’re going to want to make sure the landscaping around your pool does the same. You can do this by employing symmetry with vases, shrubs and hedging. Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure your yard is always tidy and trimmed.

Pool landscaping
Source: Conde Nast Property

31. Take in the view

If you’re lucky enough to have a home with a breathtaking view like this one, then you should make sure your landscaping works in your favour. To ensure your view remains clear, make sure you use low-level hedging around the pool and maintain it regularly, so you have unobstructed views all year round!

Pool design
Source: Finca Cortesin Real Estate

32. Slide on in

This area has everything you need for the whole family! There’s the pool at the back with a slide for the kids, the BBQ area which faces directly onto the pool, and multiple lounge and seating areas where you can relax with a drink on a Sunday afternoon… Perfect.

Pool ideas
Source: deckremodelers

33. Multi-level entertainment

This space is an entertainer’s delight! If you’re planning on having a  lot of friends around for BBQs this summer, think about how you can maximise your outdoor living area. You can take cues from this space where the dark timber decking is framed around the curved blue pool. This area has a sunken entertainment area at the bottom and a simple deck up the top – handy for taking your drinks from the pool to the house!

Pool landscaping
Source: Living Style Co Landscapes

34. Resort-style

This lawn is so well manicured that it makes this home look like a resort! If that’s the vibe you want to create, go all out by adding fancy coloured lounge chairs with rolled-up towels on them (they’ll come in handy when you go for your next dip!). Just make sure you’ve got a regular schedule to maintain this space… All of those plants could take a lot of work. Having a regularly gardener booked in can prove handy!

Pool landscaping
Source: Jane Lockhart Design

35. Outdoor entertainment

Forget boring outdoor areas. Have fun with your space by adding in something quirky, like this cool strip of fake grass – perfect for a round of lawn bowls!

Pool landscaping
Source: Frankel Building Group

There you have it, 35+ amazing pool landscaping ideas. Which one do you want to use for your pool redesign? I personally love the classic French chic outdoor area but you might prefer something a little more modern like concrete or timber panelling. Comment and tell me which one you like best!


Elise H

I've recently moved into a new home and I've been having so much fun decorating it with pretty wall prints and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. So as well as being a freelance writer, I'm always on the lookout for new design pieces for my home!

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