Pools are, in and of themselves, some of the most relaxing places on Earth. Aside from actually being at the ocean, pools the most calmest and a soothing aquatic experience one can have. In fact, sometimes this environment is even calmer than the ocean or a natural body of water itself. Keeping this in mind, the designer looking to add planters to the pool area has to aim for a few main goals. Safety, cohesive design, and aesthetic effect are three of the main things a landscape artist must keep in mind when using planters to add ambiance to the pool area.
It is a fact that a poolside without plants would be rather boring and a little strange, so it’s not unusual that so many pool owners want to landscape the planting area around the pool itself. However, no matter how charming the setup is, if it is unsafe, it is not going to work. Before choosing planters, look at the pool itself. Is there a diving board? If so, where would someone likely fall after jumping off of the diving board? Where will kids likely be running? Where will drinks and food be served? If you can answer some of these questions, you’ll have a better idea of how to design for the functional aspects of the pool area. Consider, for instance, if a large, pointy, rock planter was located right in the middle of the pool-to-spa path. Children run, and adults slip, so anywhere there is a path from one location to another in the pool area, there should not be large, abrasive, sharp objects, planters included. Keep in mind where someone might fall or land if they jump off of a diving board. It may sound strange, but if you’re designing into a wall, especially, overhang is important to consider. Function is first when it comes to the pool area, then aesthetic, so remember to design around that.
Once you’ve ensured that the safety of all pool guests will be protected, or at least not endangered, by your design, you have to consider the cohesiveness of that design. If the pool is done entirely in blue tile, for instance, black slate might be an odd choice for material. If the pool area is designed in a modern, geometrical way, a Tuscan-themed planter would be completely out of place. Make sure that the material and design of your planter or planters blends in perfectly to the existing aesthetic of the pool area. It’s okay to have the planter stand out in its own right as beautiful or well-appointed, but it should not stand out as being completely different from everything else.
While this is similar to cohesive design, it has more to do with the pure look of the planters themselves instead of how they fit into the surroundings. For instance, you could have planters that match the surroundings perfectly, but if they’re very unattractive or they’re over sized for the pool area, it can throw off the aesthetics of the entire pool area. Make sure that your choice of planters contributes to the positive and seamless aesthetic of the pool and surrounding area, instead of being aesthetically off. Even if everything looks great on paper – the colour matches, the material is the same, the design is cohesive, and so on – it doesn’t mean anything if people are going to think “there’s just something not right” when they look at the area.
While many different considerations have to be made when designing with planters for a poolside area, the above three considerations are at the top of the list. Safety is the top priority of any project, especially when many people, including children, will be walking and running. Planters should never hinder someone traveling from one place to the next, but rather line a safe path. Blending into the existing design scheme is also important, and ensuring that the overall aesthetic is seamless and not awkward or unattractive is also crucial.
What do you think about using planters and it’s added ambiance to the pool area? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below.