Creating the Ultimate Summer Retreat – The Best Plants for Pool Areas

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Although Perth is home to some of the best beaches in Australia, given our heavenly climate and long hot summers, there’s little wonder why the appeal of having a pool at home is so strong among Perthians. Like pool design, pool landscaping has evolved so much over the years and the landscaped pool areas of many local homeowners offer a great deal to take inspiration from.

As one of the foremost landscaping design and architecture teams in Perth, we’re always looking for new and exciting ways to turn otherwise bland, tired pool areas into suburban oases, paradisiacal summer retreats with sublime, appealing aesthetics all year-round.

Whether you’re in the process of having a pool built or it’s about time to give your old pool area a new lease on life with a much-needed facelift, here we look at attractive pool garden plants which are suitable for most Perth properties and could very well prove to be the inspiration that you’ve been looking for.

Native Plant Surrounds

Offering spectacular aesthetics and minimal maintenance, native plants are an outstanding way to add pops of colour and lovely green foliage to your pool area. And as native plants tend to be quite drought resistant (an important consideration with our local climate) they stand a much better chance of surviving a hot and dry summer than non-natives. Just ensure they’re placed far enough from the pool to avoid contact with water, especially if your pool is chlorinated.

As you may have noticed, many backyard designs for Perth homes feature a variety of native flora, often combined with non-native plants, shrubs, trees and flowers, though there are certainly enough natives to choose from if you want a 100% native garden surrounding your pool area. This is a great way to celebrate the diversity and often unique aesthetics of our beautiful local flora, and it also has the effect of attracting local fauna, especially birdlife.

Depending on the location of your pool area and the amount of sunlight it receives during the day, some popular native plants to consider are:

  • Bull Banksia – Our very own Banksia Grandis is well and truly at home here and is favoured by many landscape designers in Perth for its aesthetics, size and easy maintenance. Honeyeaters, like the red wattlebird, are attracted to its attractive, succulent flowers.
  • Native Fuchsia – Also known as Correa Reflexa, native fuchsia has dusky pink flowers, takes very well to our local climate despite hailing from Eastern Australia, and adds a wonderful touch of colour to gardens. It attracts local birdlife and loves sunny spots.
  • Australe Storksbill – With its attractive, subtle flowers, drought-resistant qualities and preference for warm, sunny spots, the perennial Australe Storksbill is an excellent choice for pool areas. It grows to around 40-50cm with umbels of 4-12 flowers.

Other native plants that are popular for pool areas include holly leaf grevillea and prostrate grevillea, both of which are low-lying plants that love the sun, and the hardy Blueberry Ash, which is a great choice of native tree if you’re looking to add a touch of privacy to your pool.

Creating a Private Pool Area

The privacy you enjoy in your pool and surrounding area can be enhanced with the right plants, though you must consider not only the capacity of a plant to screen the pool from the view of the neighbours, but also the amount of foliage that they drop. This is especially important if you plan to place these plants near the edge of the pool because the more leaves they drop, the more time you’ll spend cleaning the pool.

As leading Perth landscape designers with a strong focus on creating landscaped pool areas that are as aesthetically appealing as they are easy to maintain, we understand the need to provide clients with a selection of plants that provide privacy and striking aesthetics without increasing the time required to keep their pools clean, free of debris and inviting. For these reasons, we advise avoiding eucalypts, which have a tendency to shed lots of leaves, and conifers, which seem to constantly shed needles.

Hedges, when planted a short distance from the pool edge, can be effective at providing privacy, but as their uniformity is often rather boring, opting for climbers which adapt well to the pool fence has proven to be a more popular choice, plus there are many to choose from. Climbers are also an effective way to cover the pool fence and provide a screen of privacy-enhancing foliage. Other privacy-providing pool-friendly plants to consider include:

  • Hibiscus – There are more than a few hibiscus varieties to select from. Choose one that grows to an ideal height with flowers of your preferred colour. Hibiscus take particularly well to the local climate here in Perth and are very easy to maintain.
  • Agapanthus – A drought-resistant, attractive plant with lovely leaves and soft blue or white flowers on tall stems that provide a good amount of foliage and privacy despite their short stature. Agapanthus flowers during summer, making them perfect for swimming season.
  • Cannas – If you’re looking to add a tropical touch to your pool area, it’s difficult to pass cannas by. As they can’t get enough of the sun and heat, both of which we have an abundance of here in Western Australia, they’ll be very happy in your pool garden.
  • Camellias – This attractive, heavily foliaged plant loves the sun, and although it waits until autumn and winter to flower, many people find it provides much-needed pops of colour in the cooler months when other poolside plants aren’t in bloom.

There are many others to consider, including geraniums which are best suited to pots and add wonderfully bright and vibrant colours, hardy, heat-loving dietes which flower in spring and autumn, and ornamental citrus trees like cumquats and dwarf lemons.

Xteria Landscape provide landscaping and garden design services across Perth. If you would like to learn more about our pool landscaping services, including pool landscaping designs and the plants we recommend, please contact us on (08) 9303 9925.

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