What better way to spend a sunny afternoon than reading a book by the pool or taking a refreshing dip? An inground pool can turn any backyard into a tropical oasis, and the cherry on top of your outdoor sanctuary is the landscaping that surrounds it.
If you’re looking for creative inground pool landscaping ideas, we’ve got the inspiration you need to kick off your next big home decor project.
A harmonizing walkway
Think walkways are only for front entrances? Think again: laying some gorgeous stones between your deck and your pool area is like rolling out a red carpet for your outdoor space. A backyard walkway can effortlessly link two halves of the same garden together for a natural, harmonious look and feel.
Sleek, simple slabs
For the minimalist at heart, large patio slabs can create a spa-like vibe for your backyard pool. You can choose a single shade for the entire pool area, or create a zen-like pattern using complementary colours. No matter if you go with smooth, slate, classic concrete, or a statement textured slab, you’ll end up with an outdoor hardscape that radiates calm, quiet, and relaxation.
A unique water feature
If your inground pool has a smaller footprint, an eye-catching water feature will make a larger-than-life impression. A tasteful fountain, for example, can be installed inside the pool or at the very edge with water tumbling into the basin. Water walls are an equally elegant touch, releasing a gentle cascade from the side of the pool directly into the water.
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Sweet, sweet scents
Nature is full of incredible scents, and as the old saying goes, you’ve got to stop and smell the roses every now and then. Planting sweet-smelling flowers around your pool and garden will heighten the backyard experience by engaging your sense of smell, and in turn, your sense of wonder. Consider flowers like jasmine, honeysuckle, gardenia, and plumeria to turn your open-air space into a sensory delight. How about adding in some lavender? Not only does this flower smell good, but it also keeps mosquitos at bay. Who knew?
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A backyard fire pit
Backyard fire pits are the ultimate gathering spot for friends and family, and an incredible hardscaping choice for natural-born hosts. Fire pit design is incredibly varied, from simple and modern setups to grandiose statement pieces, so the sky's the limit. No matter if it’s the dead of summer or a chilly autumn evening, there’s nothing like sitting beside a toasty fire under the night sky. As an added bonus, fire pits cut humidity and make an outdoor living space warm and comfortable.
Transport yourself to a luxe retreat without ever leaving your backyard! Landscaping with shrubs, bushes, and plants that lie close to the ground creates a “resort” vibe that will leave you feeling zenned out. Think barberry, forsythia, sedge, gold thread cypress … there’s a shrub for every climate, you’ll just need to do a little research!
Take this landscape inspiration to the next level by replacing all or some of the surrounding grass with rocks and pebbles, or adding complementary cobblestone pavers to your overall backyard design.
Glowy string lights
This design idea doesn’t involve plants, slabs, or stones, but it’s a simple and affordable way to make your deck, patio, and pool area shine (literally). By day, a set of string lights or bistro lights is the perfect overhang for a cozy outdoor living room or seating area, and by night, they make for an even dreamier swim under the stars.
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We never miss an opportunity to mix natural textures with synthetic or man-made materials, and this inground patio pool idea combines the best of both worlds. Incorporate a landscape stone that allows grass to grow through each joint space, or a checkered layout that leaves room between each stone – a juxtaposition that is both exceptionally balanced and breathtakingly unique. When placed next to an inground pool, it’s impossible not to feel the powerful synergy between the two elements: water and earth.
The perfect poolside
Give your inground pool an ultra-finished look with some coping stones. These types of stones are like a crown your pool can wear: an aesthetic hardscaping detail to be admired from the comfort of your lounge chair, or as you place your hands on the smooth rim of the pool. Many of our versatile coping stones, like the rustic York and contemporary Raffinato, can also double as pool deck stones, wall caps, outdoor water feature caps, and more.
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If lush, towering greenery makes you feel right at home, go wild with tropical outdoor plants. Surround your pool area with radiant palms, hibiscus, canna, papyrus, and other leafy fronds, and you’ll swear you were in the middle of a jungle getaway! As an added bonus, if you have a covered patio area, you can hang plants like pothos around overhead beams to create a faux canopy, or hang some planters for a cozy boho vibe.
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And finally – work with what you’ve got
What’s special about your backyard? Maybe your inground pool was built against a natural rock wall. Maybe your lawn is so green that it speaks for itself – no decorative plants needed. Maybe it’s an interesting shape, lending to a unique surrounding hardscape. No need to fit a square peg into a round hole: think about all of the things that made you fall in love with your outdoor space in the first place, and play to its strengths!
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For more inground pool landscaping ideas, look at our backyard landscaping lookbook, or take a dive into our mosaic guide.