In many parts of the country, swimming pools are a prominent feature in the garden. They often act as the center of entertaining, dining, and relaxation for the entire family. Whether you are starting from scratch or looking to spruce up an existing pool, here are some important things to consider.
For safety reasons, fencing around swimming pools is a must when small children, pets, or non-swimmers are present. Currently there is no federal law requiring pool fences in the United States, however many individual states, counties, and municipalities have enacted their own pool fence laws. Even if you don't have children or pets, pool safety should still be your number one concern. If someone were to enter your pool without permission and accidentally become injured (or worse), you may still be sued for negligence.
The style of your home and your pool in combination with your climate should be the leading factors dictating the style of your landscape. Take cues from the existing landscape. Unity in landscaping is achieved when everything looks as though it belongs together - with no one element standing out from the others. A lot of homeowners want a pool-scape that reminds them of a favorite vacation spot.
Whether you choose a style that is sleek and contemporary, elegant and formal, or lush and tropical, think about how it will complement your home's exterior, blend in with the native vegetation, and how well it will work with your climate. Don't be afraid to let nature do some of the work. If your lot is adjacent to an impressive view (mountains, a lake, etc.), use a minimalist approach to landscaping around your pool so that the view remains the focal point.
Plants provide beauty and privacy around a swimming pool. They can soften harsh lines, camouflage pool equipment, and they help your swimming pool blend in more naturally with the environment.
Finally, consider ways to add personal touches to your swimming pool landscape design. This might include dramatic lighting, customized deck furniture, statuary, or even adding a structural feature like a pergola or gazebo. Remember, the outdoor space around your pool contains the same basic elements that needing addressing when designing your indoor spaces: a "floor" (the pool and deck area), "walls" (fences and plantings) and a "ceiling" (pergola or patio umbrella).
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
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