Summer is on its way and it’s a time to relax around the swimming pool with family and friends. After the cold winter months we walk outside and remind ourselves it’s time to get cracking on that garden that surrounds our pools.
Too often when a new pool is installed we want immediate results, with tropical paradise befitting our new glorious pool. We make mistakes, adding that smallish Cocos palm, a splattering of fan palms with other tropical plants in between. Years later we could kick ourselves, they have grown far too large and the roots are on their way to the pools edge looking for water.
There are plenty of plants that are low on the mess and water front and are suitable for planting poolside. We should try and find plants that are durable, evergreen and require minimal care, allowing your pool to shine the whole year through. There is no reason why you can’t bring this vision to life for your pool by installing a variety of plants.
Different types of flowers and foliage can be used to create a variety of looks, whether it’s a tropical oasis, country inspired pool or modern spa like retreat. When designing your pool side garden; form, colour and functionality are among the vital tools that contribute to the success of the final creation.
Most pools are installed in spaces with direct sun, so the plants you use in the design should be suited for the sunlight. Pools in South Africa are perfect for an indigenous garden as they are low maintenance and change with the seasons.
Combining evergreen trees, succulents, flowering plants and other foliage will really help the design come “alive”, so a mixture of plants will add texture and be visually appealing.
Vepris lanceolata can tolerate some frost and can survive occasional drought, but does not flourish in very dry areas. The tree grows reasonably fast and can be pruned into different shapes.
Dais Cotinifolia has lovely pink flowers in summer which can be planted close to walls and paving. Definitely an attraction for insects, birds and butterflies and easy to prune.
Aloe Barberae is a striking and distinctive tree aloe, ideal large accent plant with 2 or 3 forked branches and attractive whitish grey bark. Bears spikes of tubular salmon-pink or orange flowers and can cope well with almost any climate and soil type.
Crassula Multicava has attractive, dark red with grey undersides, succulent leaves, with flowers forming clouds of pink flowers when planted en mass. Excellent for dry shade under mature trees or covered areas.
Dietes Bicolor has a showy yellow iris flower with brown eye, leaves strap-shaped, ±80cm. Adapts to almost any garden position, flowers best in full sun, most effective planted in groups.
Zantedeschia Aethiopica has creamy white spathes, and large showy leaves. Can grow in full sun if given enough water but thrives in moist shady areas so plant under your poolside tree.
A good pool and landscape design should not only look good but be practical and low maintenance. When you are adding plants around your pool always keep the future in mind. Plants do grow and you don’t want your poolside to be over shadowed by your garden.