Sunday, December 2, 2012

Plants around the Swimming Pool

It's hard to believe we've been in this house 24 years! Well not so hard, really. The easiest way to see how the property has changed is by the plantings. The linden trees and Pin oak are 40 - 50 feet tall and all shrubs have reached their mature height. 
As with all homes, certain things need to be replaced and changed after a certain number of years. We noticed that the (original!) pool liner had begun to leak. Yup! It had lasted an incredible 24 years but now was giving up the ghost. So we called the company that had originally installed the pool and talked about what else could be done besides replacing the liner.

We decided to take out the original concrete decking and replace it with interlocking brick.

We gained about an extra 2 feet of space on each side of the pool and a lot of extra new "patio" space at the end of the pool. All in all I think we are really going to enjoy this new expanded area in years to come! I can picture putting some of our deck chairs onto the new patio part and adding some containers full of colourful flowers.

As with all renovations, once you change the first thing, you often need to change something else.

At the back, because the yard slopes downwards towards the back fence, they will build in some steps to descend to the back of the yard. This area could use some plantings so I started to plan what might be suitable.

I think my best bet will be to stick with ornamental grasses. They have a natural beauty that suits water and the lovely swaying plumes will add movement. Their root system is shallow so it will not interfere with brickwork.

What else? Perhaps daylilies and sedum. Both are tough and low maintenance and blend well with the grasses.

Annuals are always good for all season colour.

I will not plant even small trees because of possible damage to the pool by tree roots. Also, I certainly do not need anymore leaves/fruit/catkins in the pool!!

Probably good to stay away from plants that attract bees…. and anything with thorns.

Any other ideas would be more than welcome :)


Anonymous said...

Astrid, what an amazing project. I was surprised to see cement walls. On Long Island, they use steel walls on an in ground pool out of fear that the cement will crack of pop out of the ground in a freeze. In any event, I like your choice of plants -- and I love the idea of steps (stone perhaps?) bringing you into the yard. Have you thought about lavender? It smells great as you brush by it. Looking forward to updates!

Astrid said...

Hi Kevin
How nice to hear from you! Yes - the yard looked like a war zone for awhile but the guys did a fabulous job! (Just like 24 yrs ago! ) We do actually use a combination of steel and cement in the walls because we have the same type of freeze/thaw that you have. There was some rust so that will need to be fixed. It was too cold by the time they finished the patio. So next spring they'll do that and drop in the new liner.
Lavender!! What a great idea!!! I will incorporate that for sure. Thx!

debsgarden said...

The new paving looks terrific! And I think the combination of grasses and daylilies would be terrific. It's amazing how maintenance comes around so quickly. 20 years can pass in a flash, and then suddenly one realizes something is not new any more!

Astrid said...

Hi Deb
Thanks! We're really pleased with it. The pool guys said that nobody uses concrete anymore because it cracks and shifts. With interlocking, they will just repair any small part that shifts. Neat eh? Lots of progress after 24 years, that's for sure.

Justin Chan said...

This is an awesome post.
garden design Toowoomba

Astrid said...

Hi Justin

Nadezda said...

AStrid, I agree: the grasses go well with a pool. They look like small fountains near a pool. Also I think hostas will grow well, are simple and nice with their big leaves that won't drop into the pool. I planted them around my garden pond and am glad. I love your two photo - first and the last one, I love your sense of humor!

Astrid said...

Hi Nadezda
You are right - Hostas would go nicely as well. I would have to pick very sun-tolerant ones, because they would be in direct sunlight all day.
Glad you enjoyed the post!

HELENE said...

Hello Astrid, how nice the pool area turned out after the revamp! It looks neat with the paving, looking forward to seeing photos of the finished project when the pool is filled again next spring. I don't have a pool - really wish I had one, but my goodness, where would I put it! But if I had one, I would put lots of scented plants and herbs around it so I could smell them while in the pool.

I am planning my own garden project at the moment, on a slightly smaller scale though :-)
Take care, Helene.

Astrid said...

Hi Helene
I checked your blog and your new seating area shows great promise!!
We are happy with the way our reno has turned out so far. Both you and Kevin mentioned fragrant plants and I will definitely keep those on mind but I will stay away from any that attract stinging insects.
Boy! Talk of the pool makes me think of warm summer days….ahhhh……

Angie said...

I like what you have done with your pool. Sooooooooo jealous that you have a pool :))
The plants you have chosen sound great. I'm a recent convert to grasses and agree about how good they look near water.
What about some box topiary spheres - providing 'year round' interest.

Astrid said...

Hi Angie
Thanks so much! Boxwood is another good idea. I'll try to plan something that will look good year round.

Alistair said...

Quite a project Astrid, doesn't time fly I can hardly believe that we have been 27 yrs in our house. A pool of course would be foolish in the North East of Scotland. Personally, I can picture the scene mainly with foliage and a very small scattering of flowering plants.

Astrid said...

Hi Alistair
It used to be that our area of Canada had 2-3 months warm weather and 9 months cold but that has not been the case for a long time. We open the pool in mid-May and can often swim until early October. And with last summer's heat wave/drought it was a great to have the pool. We'll never regret the reno. They did a great job.
I'm thinking that low maintenance plants will be best around the pool so will continue to plan with that in mind.
Nice to hear from you.

Dollie Wessner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dylan Mallory said...

You have such a wide pool! When looking for plants to place around the pool, pick those that don’t need a lot of maintenance. Plants that shed may be good, but they can make a big mess around your pool when leaves and flowers fall in. Also, whatever type of plant you choose, make sure it complements the design of the pool. Don’t overdo planting, as it can be unattractive.

>Dylan Mallory

Cathy said...

You have a nice pool! You did pretty well making it last for 24 years. I bet the repair for the pool is already done by this time and you already have decided on the plants that you’ll place. I hope you can give me a sneak peek at the new look of your pool. Thanks, Astrid. :D

-Cathy Newman-

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Tiffany Fields said...

So what did you go for? Anything that drops pollen, leaves and fruits may not be a good idea. You can always plant shrubs around the pool. Not necessarily beside it, more like a border to line up the entire pool area.


Jennifer Frank said...

Looking good! We're actually about to start with our pool's renovation before the summer hits. We decided to have Pool service phoenix install a wading pool that doubles as a Jacuzzi. I hope ours would look as good as yours. Wish us luck!

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