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Landscaping around swim spas can be divided into two distinct categories, hardscape landscaping and swimming pool landscaping. The first has to do with maintaining a perimeter for the pool, installing drains, and proper drainage so you do not end up with a soggy yard. The second, as you might expect, is an extension of the main pool itself, with the spongy layer as the “grass.”
In either case, an adequate design that incorporates water drainage, as well as drainage for all the soil and turf areas of the landscape should be part of the overall plan. Keep in mind that the many additional hardscape items, including curb and gutter systems, pergolas, and driveway components are meant to complement and improve the visual aspects of the landscape while providing the foundation for a sturdy, and even shady base for the swimming pool.
Since there is a relationship between landscaping and water filtration, both the landscaper and the pool manufacturer should keep in mind that in most cases, the landscaping that is installed around the pool is not as effective as it could be if it was made with water-drainage and drainage in mind from the beginning.
This is where plantings, paths and other hardscape items can do a lot for you.
Hardscape landscape items like pergolas, pavers, edging and everything in between can be tailored to the needs of the water filtration system, and even provide spots for water to drain to keep down leaf buildup on top of the system.
The plantings themselves can be water-loving perennials and ornamental grasses. They can even be planted in groups, like a full-line weed suppression group to keep invasive pests out of the play area. Or, the plants can be a few different varieties that act as buffers, providing areas where you can give your grandchildren a spray with a water-wettable plant, such as meadow grass, while providing a wildlife area and shady spots for lounging.
The many different shapes, sizes, colors, and combinations that you can include in a typical landscaping design makes it virtually impossible for water to build up on plants, on grass and on pool surfaces. After all, a pool is not a landscape item.
Here’s a typical design element that can be included, or added as needed, to compliment the water filtration system.
This is a vital piece of hardscape landscaping for the swimming pool. If properly designed and installed, it can add curb appeal, and a point of entry for other hardscape items, as well as creating a terrace for family and friends. But, most importantly, it can also form a handy platform from which to access the filtration system, not to mention allowing easy removal of the dirty filter screens.
Since the decking provides the most obvious connection to the pool, and should be as attractive and well-maintained as possible, a picture is worth a thousand words. In the pool landscaping process, we often find that homeowners just have an idea of what they want their outdoor space to look like. It is not until we actually look at the spaces that we can determine which plants and water elements would be ideal, and which would not.
Another step that can be taken before beginning the pool landscaping design process is to have a crack test of the soil. Most of the landscape design companies out there have a variety of soil testing and crack testing products available. When the cracks are dry, using a paintbrush, we paint the top of the crack (which are often within inches of the pool decking) with the paint of your choice, then dry that for a few days. If there are little to no leaks, then you can be confident in the final product. However, if there are large cracks or puddles of water, then you might consider using a product like stainable paint or epoxy.
This step, testing and analyzing the soil, not only provides the pool landscaper with an opportunity to determine where the soil needs work and where it is adequate, but also gives the homeowner the chance to visualize what their yard could look like with proper hardscape items.
The pool installation process begins with a full view of what is going to be happening from the beginning of the process. This includes seeing the bottom of the pool, which is where the swimming pool foundation will be placed. Here is where the pool landscaping design comes in to play. A properly designed swimming pool landscaping plan can take your pool from out of view to the focal point of the landscape, rather than its unseen part.
We are always amazed at the creative ideas homeowners come up with to make their pools stand out from others in the neighborhood. We know this isn’t always possible, but you can bet that when you place your pool landscape project in the hands of the most experienced pool landscaping professionals, your outdoor living space will be nothing less than spectacular.
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http://www.martincountywater.org/systems-architect-talks-lakeside-landscape-design/#respondFri, 12 Sep 2017 05