Installing an above-ground pool is a great, cost-saving measure for those who want to be able to enjoy a dip in the backyard without breaking the bank. But, you may fear that an above-ground pool will be a blight in your yard's landscape. There are a few inexpensive things you can do to help make it fit right in. Here are 4 options for any budget.
Rocks. It's often best to landscape around the immediate walls of a pool with decorative stone -- often gravel, crushed rock, or pea gravel -- in order to help keep the area clean and dry after the kids have splashed around a while. You can build on this rocky motif to design an interesting landscape that's low maintenance. Why not bring in some large boulders and combine them with smaller stones of various sizes to create a rock garden? You can add greenery among the rocks to form an alpine garden or even a lush, tropical oasis.
Planters. Using planters around the most visible sides of the pool can be helpful if you live in a climate that changes significantly between summer and winter. Choose planters of at least two heights to create a full, green shield around the pool walls. The advantage of planters is that you can move them as the weather requires, including bringing delicate plants inside when it gets cold. They will also help prevent soggy, dirty messes around the pool.
Deck. If your budget allows, building a full deck around the pool is the perfect way to add to its beauty and usefulness. Depending on the pool's location, you may be able to design a deck that meets up with your existing hardscaping to form a large and easy-to-use entertainment space. Or, the deck could be simply big enough to place a few lounge chairs on. Look for deck material that complements your other hardscape or the colors and materials of the house itself.
Stone Edging. If you can't build a full deck, you can still camouflage the pool with a beautiful stone edging that serves as a small deck. Surround the pool with a ground-level "deck" of decorative pavers or stamped concrete, then combine that with stacked stone or retaining wall blocks that go all the way around the pool's walls. Finish off with a simple stair made from a lower stack of the same blocks (securely placed, of course). The effect will be very easy to maintain and will cover up the pool's most obvious features.
No matter which of these simple landscape and hardscape options works best for you, it's sure to enhance your pool and your entire yard for years to come.