What Do I Put Around My Above-Ground Pool?

An above-ground pool can look abrupt and almost out of place in your yard. You want to make it blend in and become an attractive focal point. It should invite people into your yard and give it the feel of a welcoming oasis. You can use landscaping around your above-ground pool to accomplish these goals.

Create a Clean Path

When you get out of the pool, your feet will be wet. If you must cross the grass to get to the house, you're likely to pick up bits of grass and dirt and track them into the house. And if you don't, your children are sure to. If at all possible, have a path to the pool that is made of something solid and sweepable, such as cement or patio blocks or even decking.

How a Sloping Yard Can Be an Asset

If your yard is level, you have more options. But if your yard is not level, use the slope to your advantage. Consider building a deck at one end of the pool and what effect the grade will have on the deck. If you put the deck at the end where the ground is the highest, you will have a shorter set of stairs to reach it. Or you could put the deck at the other end to take advantage of the view from that height. If you choose to build a deck around only part of the pool, landscape around the other end to make the yard look more attractive.

Plan for Drainage

If your pool is not on level ground, the pool installers will have dug out a level spot on which to place your pool, and you'll have an area around one side where the ground rises from the pool. Consult an expert before you decide to just pile the dirt back up against the pool. You might be better off creating a retaining wall or digging out more of the dirt to make a gradual slope. You want to consider both drainage and erosion, especially if you live in a rainy climate.

Make Your Pool Part of the Yard

Pools generally come with ladders. But to get the most enjoyment out of the pool, you also need to be able to lounge beside it, looking down into the cool, clear water. You have many options when it comes to building a deck around the above-ground pool. You can make a simple deck that's large enough for a couple of chairs, you can make a deck that goes all the way around the pool or you can do anything in between. If the pool is close to your house, you may be able to build a deck that lets you walk out of your house and right over to your pool, like having an in-ground pool. If the height isn't right, consider making a deck that has more than one level to accommodate the difference in height. If you choose this option, keep safety in mind, especially if you have young children or pets that could fall in and be unable to get out.

Consider Plants in Containers

Unless you build a deck all the way around, at the edge of the pool, you need to think about the ground immediately around the pool. Avoid planting any plants with roots that might go under the pool, because this can cause problems for the pool. Neither do you want plants that will drop things into the pool. Consider the plant in all seasons: does it have seeds that will float on the breeze straight into the pool, pollen that will cover the water in the summer or leaves that will fall off in autumn? If so, you don't want it near your pool. You could put some kind of small landscaping stone around the edge of the pool and then add in containers of plants in various sizes to soften the hard angle of the edge of the pool sticking up out of the ground.

Build a Fence

Check your local ordinances. Some pools must have fences around them by law. Many times, however, above-ground pools are exempt from this due to the height of the sides. If a fence isn't required, that doesn't mean it's not a good idea. If you put up a deck, you may be able to put up a gate at the top of the steps leading to the pool deck, keeping kids and animals out. But a fence can provide privacy as well as safety, so if you have the ability to put a fence around your pool, consider doing so.