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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need landscape ideas for backyard

ashleyodenJanuary 6, 2013
We had a pool installed last summer and need landscaping ideas. Anything would be appreciated!! Pretty sure we want sod when it is the season for us to plant.. Not sure about flowers or shrubs that is good for around pools..
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Where are you located? It's hard to give specific plant ideas without knowing where you're gardening.
    Bookmark   Thanked by ashleyoden    January 6, 2013 at 3:18PM
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Sorry I guess that would help.. I live in Alabama
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 3:19PM
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I'm not much help since I'm in Austin, TX, but check with the local agricultural extension office for natives and well-adapted plants that are "soft", evergreen (or plants you cut to the ground in an easy clump during the winter), and full sun. You'll probably want a tree (maybe a fragrant magnolia) for that slope that makes the pool/backyard slightly exposed to the neighborhood.
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 3:35PM
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Oh, I do love pools..My one rule is "No flowers" bees will come. Trees that provide shade but not too many dropping leaves. Lots of green plants and I like to have Large containers that hold greenery. I also like statuary. Cement. If you keep it simple and low maintenance, it will give you more time to swim. And clean the pool. If you have kids be aware of them running around, keep plantings hardy. I also like to have a lot of beds around the patio. Stones, river rocks in the beds with some ground cover. Nothing to attract any insects, no standing water etc. Think aout shade too. LOve to swim, but that sun is a danger. My pool is asleep, till May. So enjoy yours.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 3:58PM
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Here is my pool. I live in southern ca. ....I suggest you get some free advice and estimates from landscapers in your area. When I bought the house the pool was here as was most of the plants. you need a good drip system and sprinkler system for grass. you need to learn about plants.......meant for your location.........eg. not palms and succulents as I have. Have them come and give you ideas and advice. you can then save money if you so choose and do it yourself. I paid 50 bux for a botonist -nursery owner to come over and draw up a diagram of what plants I had( to didnt know when I bought the house) and what care they need ( fertilizer and sun and water needs). It was invaluable. if you plan to maintain the plants yourself you need to educate yourself because its a lot of work. My plants are thriving but my hands have scratches and bleed often from the thorns ( lots of roses). Speaking of bees........yes I get many in the pool. The red apple ground cover is the main attraction. Leaves.. yes those get in the pool. You need to get the dead leaves off the plants often. Good vacuum in the pool and weekly pool maintenance. Let me know if I can help.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 4:21PM
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Oh a few other thoughts. I am deciding myself what to put in that center area that is empty right now. I like privacy and so want height( over the 6 foot fence) I have an h.o.a. so issues there related to what I put in over 6 feet. How much did your pool cost? How many months do you plan to use it? Think about an umbrella or...........as I did with my small lap pool.......the gazebo for shade and privacy. love it. For you maybe privacy from the house i see you have next door. A path to the house? an area to dry off or lay on chairs? Grass means having to mow weekly. I have none in the back just the front. Bugs? we dont get many but you do i believe in that part of the country. Think about your lifestyle and make areas for eating ( table) maybe some potted plants ..and an area for kids ( if you have) an area to rest ( hammock or lounge chairs. get pro. help for free. Go to nurseries. Bring a drawing and pics.
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 4:29PM
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Thanks everyone!! We plan on starting the gazebo within a few weeks. We ran out of time last year =) we have our lounge chairs out ( not sure you can see in pics) we do have a table n chairs that we will put out when it gets a little warmer. My husband would love not to have any grass back there but I can't visualize that have rock or something would look that great..
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 5:49PM
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A secure fence installed first? It's going to be lovely - enjoy!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:29PM
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Fence and gate is complete!!
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:39PM
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Pretty Pool! I like the simplicity of the smooth concrete around it.
You should be able to find a local nursery to come out and draw up a plan your backyard. If you tell them you have a minimal budget (say $500.00 yearly) they will work within it nicely, and give you some beautiful, useful ideas.
Otherwise, I'd suggest you start with just one or two areas for maximum impact. Say the front side corner - you could choose an ornamental tree - Magnolia maybe, with a few small shrubs, so that corner looks pretty and can get started growing the tree. Decorators use the 1, 3 or 5 rule often. That means not pairs of things but groupings, they lead the eye around and are very pleasing.
Maybe in the center of the back of the yard, so you can see it from windows inside your house, plant 3 or even 5 staggered shrubs (choose no more than two types - lilacs, vibernum, or maybe hydrangea) In front of the shrubs you could plant a 1 foot tall groundcover that blooms, and in front a shorter tidy groundcover that could go right up to the small lawn or even up to the pool.
Start small and plant what you like. Avoid too many different kinds of plants at first.
Just plant the sod, and enjoy your new pool!!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Great ideas!!! I love magnolia trees and hydrangeas.. Great plan!!! It helps so much just having people give ideas of plants, flowers and shrubs I wouldn't think of!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:05PM
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JoAnn McDougall
We added rocks and a rock waterfall to make it an oasis. Since your pool is complete you could add the fake rock. Since you have so much yard, I only wish... I'd add an outdoor fire pit and outdoor kitchen. We use our outdoor kitchen, more than inside, but you need a huge budget
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:47PM
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I love the rock waterfall but we really wanted the noise from it so we went with 4 deck jets around the pool that was a little easier and cheaper for us.. I purchased a fire pit after going back and forth about wanting one made from Rock that way I can change and move it to wherever the crowd is gathering that night =)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:57PM
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I love that green plant that is in the center of the picture the small shrub looking thing.. Do you know what that is?
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:59PM
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maybe its a sago palm
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:15PM
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I really would not plant a magnolia near a pool. They are messy trees that nothing will grow underneath. A dogwood wouldn't attract bees, and is easier to landscape around.
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Hi. We are a landscape design build firm in southern ca and we landscape around pools all the time. If you do want trees or plants near your pool think of anything with large leaves or that does not go deciduous. Magnolia trees are actually a good concept because the leaves are large and easily removed from the pool. Grasses (tall 3' - I believe a miscanthus grows out there) might be a good suggestion because they add year round interest and don't necessarily drop leaves and just needs to be trimmed once or twice a year. You could even get some red twig dogwood up against that fence to provide year round color for your winter. Any way you go think color and let us know if you need a design plan. Thanks.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 1:12PM
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Karen Williams
first and foremost you MUST put up fencing then I would look to Bali inspired themes, they always look great. also North Queensland. I live in South Australia and people here do everything from tropical to non tropical. a good lawn always looks good around any pool along with Bird of Paradise plants as well as palms a bali pavillian would look spectacular
1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 1:17PM
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One Specialty Landscape Design, Pools & Hardscape
It looks like you have a pretty large swimming pool deck. Once you figure out how much of the landscaping is going to be sod , trees, shrubs, etc. buying some colorful decorative pots and filling them with seasonal color would be a nice accent. You could choose all manner of colors; blue pots to match your tile line and plaster could look nice or a color that compliments your home. Either way, they can be a great way to frame your swimming pool.

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2 Likes    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Gauging from the background, I'm guessing this is Northern-ish Alabama which means garden zones 7b-8a. Bird of Paradise would be a rather expensive annual. However, for a tropical look during the summer, Alocasia macrorrhizos might be a good choice. I'd suggest cannas, but with the canna virus running rampant, that might just end in sadness. Plumeria would be LOVELY but would require overwintering which is thankfully easy (dig it up, cover the root ball, and shove in the garage - no water or light necessary). There are also native soft leaf yuccas that have pretty, large leaves and stunning flowers.
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Pamela Bateman Garden Design
One of my favorite plants to use around pools is the beautiful Hibiscus mutabilis "Rubrus" The common name is Confederate Rose. It has huge reddish pink flowers, grows in your area, flowers during most of the summer when you are using the pool and looks very tropical. If you can't find it at a local nursery you can order it online from a nursery. I love this plant. There is a double form called Hibiscus mutabilis 'Alma's Star' and is available from Wayside Gardens. www.waysidegardens.com. There are lots of Hibiscus species so make sure you look for H. mutabilis.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 6:47PM
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One Specialty, Concrete, Xteriors, & Pools, LLC.. I have a question. In my pool which is the lap pool in the pic above. The concrete around the pool was left with black markings after I tried to clean it with muriatic acid and baking soda as described to me by a concrete repair person. I simple wanted to whiten the concrete that was 10 yrs old but the person who used the pressure washer must have held it to close or it was the wrong tip. Anyway I have had a few people look at it and they all have different opionions on how to fix it ( make it look new) or dont even know how or want to charge me a fortune. What are the options and what is the cost and this includes the area that is 12 inches of boarder around the pool.. forgot the name of that. I would like that part at least to be cool and really would like more of the cement covered with the cool surface. what do you suggest. Should I call a pool company or a concrete company.?

ashleyoden... not sure your budget but the people in back of my house who have a big yard..maybe 8-9000 sq feet and a big pool... their yard was all dirt when they bought the house last yr and they just spent 25k to put in sprinklers and 3 small planting beds with mostly palm trees and a fire pit and sod and an area of cement. I guess you know it can be very expensive. How big is your pool and aprox what did it cost if you dont mind. How many mths out of the yr can you swim there? I live in my pool all summer may til nov..........its great.......................I hate the winter and the cold.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 10:02PM
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Truth & Heart Landscaping, llc
I love the shape of the pool, unique geometry. I would hire a design professional to work closely with and add shrubs, especially some striking succulents, such as a variety of Agaves. , A variety of heights,would be a smart addition with low lying semi-weeping trees. These could canopies on top of medium tall shrubs, perhaps purple and pink Butterfly bushes. Creating, interest through fragrance, texture, whimsy and bright textures. Now friends and family are comfortable around a walking paths, that walk you to an outdoor seating area and pool lounge.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 7:10AM
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One Specialty Landscape Design, Pools & Hardscape
@designideas4me: It appears that the coping (12" area around pool) is made of cast stone and the pool deck is regular concrete. It this is correct, I would hire someone to re-pressure wash and be consistent in how he washes the concrete, ie. using same pattern and distance from the concrete. This will make the cleaning more uniform.

When you do an acid wash you should mix 1 part muriatic acid to 7 parts of water, best to use a garden sprayer designed for corrosive liquids, then have someone come behind you scrubbing with a deck brush as you are spaying, then you can neutralize with baking soda or soda ash. If you used straight muriatic acid when you washed the deck, you burned the concrete.

If the idea above does not work then you might consider sandblasting the coping and concrete then putting a sealer on the concrete. The sandblasting and sealing will probably cost around $4-$5 per square foot, however the contractor may have a minimum charge. If you sandblast you will have to put new mastic around the pool.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 8:18AM
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Legends Direct
We specialize in providing amazing products to enhance your outdoor living space! With a pool like yours, creating the perfect oasis isn't far away! Lighting is a great way to add ambiance to any area; With help from tiki torches, string lights and fire pits, entertaining outside will become a breeze!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 8:49AM
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K Morris Landscape Design Inc
Hire a landscape design professional to give you some ideas and plans. It will save you money and complete the beautiful space you have started. Avoid companies that offer free design as you will get what you pay for.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Weatherwell Elite - Aluminum Shutters
What about a pool house so you can use it as a true living space?
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 12:17PM
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SoCal Greetings-

I get the impression that you have not really settled on a style. Suggest you go to the top of this page,
BROWSE ROOMS / OUTDOORS / POOL and flip thru the thousands of images available. Save these along with any others from OUTDOORS you come up with. This should give you an good start on figuring out where you want to go.

I would also talk to the fellow that designed the pool. Presumably he /she has seen scores of poolscapes in your area and will have some good ideas for you.

Pool contractors typically have extensive photo files of completed jobs which will give you ideas.

Just a couple points from my own experience as a pool owner...

1. You may want a large covered bench at one end beneath which you could store a security cover or solar blanket if you plan to use either.

2. You need lots of pegs for folks to hang clothes and towels on. Mine was 2X8" about 6' long with angled wooden pegs staggered every 10 inches or so.... It should have been about three times as long.

3. You can never have too much storage for cushions, flotation devices, small tables and the other stuff which naturally accumulates around a pool.

4. Try to avoid running a lawn up to the edge of your pool decking... SOME clippings will always be blown into the pool and moist mower wheels may (temporarily) stain decking.

5. Swales, slopes or french drains around decking must be able to handle frequent rinsing of the decking.

6. If you can, run a waterline to the pool area and build a storage box for the hose that you will use to keep the decking clean. (A long covered under-bench area could also accommodate polls, and other tools you'd want to have close by.)

Good luck and post pics when done...
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 1:30AM
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I am from Tennessee....Pampus Grass has been the best thing we have planted close to our pool..no maintenance at all except trim the brown dead ones off if you want to..they are not directly at the pool, but they have grown so large in just a few years, they are hanging over our fence..they look so tropical too...not expensive...purchased ours at Lowe's..been very proud of them...9-10' tall now ...Majestic Palms are super, they love close to water..monkey grass (with small flower as we call it) is a great greenery, but they spread like crazy...we have some sort of this same look that does not spread, just gets bigger..purchased at Lowe's...hope some of this helps..I know you are really excited about your new pool...it's Lovely already!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 7:50AM
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Chindowney items #4 and #5 are spot on. With winter rain in Central Valley, CA, we took into consideration of ponding of water, and did some drainage so excess water had a place to flow away from the pool and house and also not flood our neighbors.

Here was our pool -plants. We since sold the property and moved to NV were residential pools are not warmly welcomed with the winds, and seasonal climates here. Miss that pool though. As you notice, I did selective plants, and very low maintaining them. Also since I liked fruit trees, kept them furthest away from the pool construction, and plumbing underground so as not to cause root issues to the pool.
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 7:52AM
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Richard D. Wood
Your vista to the neighbors jumps out to me thus some evergreen tree screening of your fence and of your neighbors would then begin to create a backbone landscape that also provides privacy. Cedars, Arborvitae, and some broad leaf evergreens would be a good start.
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 9:20AM
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Here's our pool yard up in central NY. We have a large paver patio behind the pool with a bar, and we painted the side of the shed to our liking. We can access the shed from the patio through the "screen door" to get at the small fridge, BBQ tools, music etc. The stone waterfall to the left is wonderful. We have grass surounding and I dont mind at all the minimum maintenance. Suprisingly to me, if I sweep the pool apron after I cut the grass, I get hardly (and sometimes no) grass clippings in the pool.
Truth is if the yard was completely maintenance free I wouldn't enjoy it half as much as I do.
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 9:23AM
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We have Herbs (Sage, Dill, Peppermint, Spearment, Parsley, etc.) and Tomato plants inside the fenced area of our pool. Our ground cover is pea gravel. A mulberry tree grew spontaneously in a far corner and we've left it to grow pruning all of the pool facing branches, the birds eat every berry we don't get to.
For flowers we have 2 Hibiscus, Wild Rose, Iris, and early Spring bulbs.
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 9:38AM
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George Kratochwill
I don't know what your budget is but when I help my clients with their landscaping decisions I start with finances and dreams. I don't know your finances so here is my approach to the project... I put outdoor rooms in a seven year plan unless you can afford it all right now. From your photo we cannot see all so here is an idea that might be helpful-- your yard has a destination. The pool. To enjoy your pool you need chairs, a placw to keep equipment and toys and food and drinks. And of course sunshine. So start there. Find the sun and where it will be when you most use the pool. We assume afternoon and evenings since you have lighting. Plan where your chairs are going. And sit there and look around. What do you see. From the photo I see a neighbor. Block them with a group of the Magnolias mentioned. Great idea. Start on the corner of the house and go left. Allow ten to twelve feet in between each and aome forward and some back. Add one to the right of the house. We need balance. Next choose the path of least resistance to the pool and the kitchen and the bathrooms. For now since you have only this first season to get a lot done and enjoy yourself meanwhile there, I'd then do a stoned path to those locations and I would block all else with lovely hedges. Along the path and the pool. Look from your windows and watch the path and block the rest out until you can afford the next part. You need to enjoy your pool this year so concentrate on all within the small spaces you now created. Buy the chairs and a cart or something to help you lug food stuff and drinks to the pool. You get the idea. Do this well. Toys etc. By drawing attention to the pool and nothing else you will give yorself time to do the next project next year. The hedges can be all greens or roses i do not know your local nursery will. Next year you work on the next corner of your yard. Eventually ou can take down yor hedges and you now have the full view of it all. In the meantime your yard and your outdoor room will take on a personal aspect and you will get good at what you are doing. Have fun. I started my 18 career with a similar project. Just remember a yard is a room. A fun room. So keep it practical and fun. Do not burry your fortune there. Plant practical things and give it color. Match your colors to your interior for after all when you look from inside your yard to down the path to the pool your eye will be pleased with similar tones. Enjoy and sorry about the long chat.
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 10:53AM
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I am from Australia so I am not familiar with Alabama but as it south I assume you don't get frosts and are pretty humid/semi tropical.
If you want the greenness of grass but don't want to mow and get lawn clippings in the pool then perhaps a fake grass carpet such as used on tennis courts could fit the bill. I have seen this used around very posh pools in Melbourne to great effect. It is cooler on the feet, not as reflective and totally non maintenance.
For plants, I would paint my fence white and grow Bouganvillea up the fence and star jasmine. As suggested by many, the evergreen Magnolia such as' Little gem' would make a good screen, as would non invasive forms of bamboo. Bird of Paradise and ginger look gorgeous in clumps, and are very tropical and fragrant. I would also look at putting in hibiscus and gardenias. All of these are evergreen so won't drop leaves in a massive drop. Avoid the deciduous trees and look at hedges for privacy and to screen areas of utility such as pool equipment . Palms should do well and will give good shade. Their huge leaves are very easy to pluck out of the pool.
Agapanthus is stunning through most of summer as it's flowers last for months in gorgeous blue or white.
Pots can also provide good colour with pots of bouganvillea, petunias, lemon trees.
The Abultillon, also known as Chinese lanterns are wonderful and very easy to grow. They are covered in pretty colourful lantern shaped flowers that birds love. Mine never seem to stop flowering. They come in lovely yellow, orange, salmon pink , red and white. They never stop flowering. Best to keep their shape by cutting back or they can get a bit leggy and spread.
These plants will give you year long colour as all are evergreen with green foliage, and long flowering periods of bright flowers, and many are beautifully scented. None of these mentioned need much maintenance at all.
Happy gardening, let us know what you choose and enjoy your pool.
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 5:08PM
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These pines are inexpensive & stay green yr round. No care, can tolerate hot climate.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Forget the grass unless you mean ornamental grasses. Don't forget the reason you put the pool in, was to sit by it and relax. You want a low maintenance yard so you don't spend a lot of your free time taking care of it. Split the yard up into living areas. One for cocktails such as a bar, one for lounging, one for morning coffee and for heaven's sake, somewhere to sit in the rain. The pool looks awesome during a storm! Splurge on a gazebo. You won't be sorry. When you plan a party, weather will never be an issue. Oh, and round tables can fit a lot of people. Say,48" . We keep 6 chairs out regularly but have had 14 for drinks and app's. as far as the planting goes, hire an expert. They will know what thrives in your conditions.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:48PM
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Pamela Bateman Garden Design
I must, respectfully, disagree will all that say not to put in a garden. Flowers bring such great joy to your life. There is nothing like going into the garden and watching honey bees on a lavender bush. Gardens soothe the soul. At least plant flowering trees and shrubs.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:53PM
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yep. Just a few views from my pool.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 9:17PM
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I agree it would be a shame not to have a garden in your backyard where you will be spending so much time. However, I would minimize plantings that attract bees right by the pool. I don't think many have given you a cohesive plan for your region so I will give a list of things that I think look good together and would all work in Atlanta where I'm originally from. Not sure in what part of Alabama you are living.

I would choose: a mix of evergreen shrubs like creeping junipers and small conifers, ornamental grasses such as miscanthus, stipa, muhly grass, ornamental shrubs like hydrangea, knock out roses, abelia, nandina, butterfly bush, quince and varigated willow, and then plant clumps of perennials like hostas and agapanthus. An ornamental tree in the far corner from the pool would provide some height and shade without creating to much work for the pool. A dogwood or an ornamental maple would look nice with the rest of the things I've suggested, or even a crabapple tree.

Depending on how much space you have to landscape I would consider creating raised beds in the back along the fence inorder to create steps and more depth in your plantings. Looking again at your pictures it seems you may not have enough room for a tree away from the pool. But it is hard to tell what is missing from the pictures. Hope that helps.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 10:07PM
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Derek Archer Design
Completely agree with K Morris, don't waste your time talking to 'landscapers' giving out free ideas/designs. You've just invested a considerable amount of money on your pool, don't ruin it by poorly planning the surrounding areas. Do your research, find a designer, and plan on paying for their time and expertise. Start with a conceptual plan, and work out the details as you implement it.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 6:41AM
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Thanks everyone for all the ideas.... So nice to have others input on this type of stuff!!!!!
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 8:27AM
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It's such a beautiful shape and in good proportion to the garden, in my opinion from an interior design point of view (haven't dealt with landscape design before sorry!) I would take inspiration from Ralph Lauren's Desert Modern collection and these luxurious pool areas. Keeping the area simple maybe with a few reeds would be lovely, with some lovely wooden decking or warm coloured stone with your sunbeds on. Hope this helps
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:29AM
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An elevated platform and a low L-shaped, or any shaped, wall with an artful canvas covering could add a bit of drama and intimacy to your "oasis" and would be nice for those warm, humid summers to get you out of the intense sun while you sip those mint juleps. You could even carry some of the pool tile upon onto the wall. Collect photos of landscapes you like, then check around (drive around the neighborhoods, do web searches, check with local home improvement stores or your local nurseries for references) for a designer who represents your esthetic and who can prepare a plan for you at a reasonable price. Be aware of how the wind blows across your property and think about how any plants chosen might spread their debris. (Grasses would be nice but they do plume and spread via the wind, can get messy and sometimes be hard to control.) An established designer should have a list of recommended contractors who can give you bids. If you can't afford to do everything right away, you can always execute the plan in phases. It's a beautiful backyard so take your time and make it your vacation spot!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 5:39PM
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I like those shade sails but my issue is that you have to mount a large pipe with concrete to support them. I would like to figure out a creative way to do it where its not considered permanent and can be moved . I have a 6 foot fence and want privacy up to 8-9 feet in a visually appealing way so neighbors like it too.
    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 8:56PM
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Hey designideas4me -- Depending on how you would need to position a sail for privacy you may not require 3 or 4 posts. I'd suggest locating a sail shade and/or architectural rigging dealer near you to see if they've any clever solutions for your situation. http://www.sunshade-shadesails.com/shade-sail-photogallery.htm The only other suggestion I could make, not seeing your specific dilemma, and since it sounds like you may want a temporary barrier of some sort, would be large umbrellas that have a tilt mechanism on them; otherwise, hedges such as ficus m. nitida or a clumping bamboo would grow quickly and work well.
    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Stone & Land, LLC
@littlemissk, I like that instant shade solution. @ashleyoden if you use something with that style, you might want to change out your light pole to something a little more contemporary so it'll match. There are a lot of good suggestions here. I'm not that familiar with which plants work best in Alabama but I think trees give the biggest bang for the buck. Now that the project is bare dirt, it's better to do the most major additions now before you restore with sod. Move in all the bigger landscape trees and stuff you can and while you have the company or labor lined up to install the sod. Just have them prep the beds and use mulch where you eventually want to do smaller planting that you can install yourself if you want. If there are any other structures, future electrical for more lights or an eventual outdoor kitchen or irrigation, put in those services and sleeves underneath walkways. Have you thought about in a high traffic area of putting some synthetic turf and tying it into a putting green? Look at the great ideas on the site and think about what you’re going to be looking at the most when you’re in the house. Then create an outdoor room that looks great while you’re looking out from the windows as well as serves your needs poolside.

Your outdoor room should have many elements an indoor room has. The ceiling is defined by the shade structure (or tree canopy), the walls by the fence or plants. You’ll also have your furniture, fire pit and lighting, a carpet of sod. Framed and enhanced by nice plantings and colorful pots as your accessories and it will draw you outside to enjoy. You're camera will help you. I don't think these angles best show the area where you'll want to concentrate. I also like to plan to have a nice large area for a tent or bounce house for bigger family events, so a 30 x 30' space is a good size to start with and keep large trees with spreading branching even farther away they don't encroach. Think about keeping it low maintenance, nice shaped beds that are easy to mow and trim with nice radiuses, easy to access with a piece of equipment if you need a repair. Luckily it looks like you have a nice sized yard to accommodate. Good luck
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 3:06AM
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Outdoor Living Today
You have such a great blank space to work with. Love the shape of the pool. You may want to look at an relaxation area tucked away a little bit for people to relax as well possibly a pool cabana for people to use as a change room. The Penthouse 9x9 Garden Shed perfectly tucks into the corner of your space and offers privacy. http://www.outdoorlivingtoday.com/oltss/storefront/product_detail.php?pid=PEN99

You also mentionned gazebo which would be lovely or a pergola. Check out the Bayside 12' Octagon Gazebo http://www.outdoorlivingtoday.com/oltss/storefront/product_detail.php?pid=BAYSIDE12

and the different sized Louvered Wall Panel Cedar Pergola Kits with or without the canopy

from Outdoor Living Today! All Do it Yourself Kits which can be stained and sealed to your liking!
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Joie de Vivre
Hi Ashley!

Looking at the picture of your backyard, I think the rolling bench could be a great addition.
As you mentioned in your previous post, you have a swimming pool.
The rolling bench is very useful. For example, when you want to stop swimming, you can relax on the rolling bench.
Thanks to the wheels, the rolling bench will offer you enough versatility by moving wherever you would like.

Please find below a link to the website. Let me know what you think about it.



    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 3:53PM
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Posting to follow.
    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 4:16PM
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