The Q&A Archives: New Landscape Design for Backyard with Swimming Pool

Question: I need help selecting a couple of trees and plants for our backyard. We have a new swimming pool and bare ground surrounding it. The yard has western exposure in full sun. Privacy is also an issue. The surrounding homes have large second story windows facing our yard. I would like the trees to grow quickly. ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Answer: Plants chosen to landscape swimming pool areas should meet two requirements. Branches, foliage, and flowers should be smooth (not bristly, prickly, sharp or thorny). And the plants should be as litter-free as possible, so as not to drop leaves, fruits, etc. in or around the pool. Trees meeting these requirements include palms, ensete (banana), ficus and Firmiana simplex (Chinese parasol tree). Shrub considerations include camellia, Fatsia japonica, juniper, and Viburnum davidii. Hope the above suggestions help you provide the backbone for your landscaping project. You can fill in around the trees and shrubs with perennials such as agapanthus, lavender, armeria, canna, coreopsis, Kniphofia uvaria and strelitzia if you'd like some splashes of color.

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