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Planting a garden around your pool or spa

Reading time: 3:10 –

For most of us, the ‘pool of our dreams’ includes the surrounding garden. Here, we explain how to create the perfect pool and spa backyard experience – and add value to your investment!


Create a setting

Two things to remember – yes, you want to create a space that’s utterly relaxing – but it also needs to be completely safe.

So, when considering your pool or spa area, think about the things you need in the space first, and work around them to establish your backyard landscaping.

You’ll need safe walking areas, pool fencing, and it’s a good idea to have clear lines of sight from your house to the outdoor entertaining areas if you can, especially if children are regularly in the pool or spa.

On a more aesthetic level, when creating your setting, remember that your pool is part of your garden so aim for a balance in how everything looks together. You don’t want to create a space so stark the only feature is the pool or spa, but you also don’t want to hide it away behind bushes. Achieving this balance will lift the overall space.


Select the right plants

Once you have established the basic layout of your garden, it’s time to choose the plants. This can be a bit tricky, so it might be good to seek advice from your local nursery, but here are a few things to consider.

Plants that are near pools or spas need to be hardy. They’re bound to be splashed with treated water, so it is not a good idea to put delicate plants like orchids right next to the pool or spa.

Also, what looks great in a pot at the local nursery, will grow and change once it’s in the ground next to your pool. Does it grow thorns or spurs? Is it seasonal and will it die off every few months? Will it drop its leaves right into your pool? Thinking about how a plant might behave in a year’s time is a good way to work out if it is right for you.


Practical planting

Plants are not merely decorative. Thinking about how they can be used practically can also help to define beautiful spaces around your pool or spa (and remember, it can add value to your home).

Bushes and hedges can also be grown into very effective privacy screens (your neighbours might even help with the costs). Vines grown along trellises can also create the same effect – and perhaps provide an area of shade over the pool.

The following plants are low-maintenance ever greens that won’t drop debris into your pool, while at the same time creating a tranquil space.

Bird of paradise


Elephant ear

Mother in law’s tongue

Keep your garden out of the water…

Along with the walking areas around your pool or spa, it’s also a good idea to create a separation between your pool and the garden itself. Leaves, flowers, branches, grass clippings, insecticides, weed killers, mulches and fertilisers can all physically damage or chemically alter your pool.

If you can’t create that extra barrier, try and scoop out any debris and regularly clean catchments after tending the garden.

If you experience significant runoff from your garden into your pool or spa, you can take a sample of the water to your local BioGuard Approved Retailer who can recommend ways to turn your water crystal clear again.


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