20 Above Ground Pool Landscaping Ideas From Minimal to Lush

Above ground pool with lush landscaping

Cleardesign1 / Getty Images

Landscaping around an above ground pool is the most effective way to incorporate it into your landscape and make it feel as if it has always been a permanent resident.

You can let lush, freeform plants evolve around your above ground pool space or keep things neat and tidy with vibrant blooms carefully corralled in terracotta pots. Either way, whether you’re looking for landscaping plans on a budget or are ready to splurge on a vacation-worthy pool setup, here are 20 above ground pool landscaping ideas to try.

  • 01 of 20

    Let the Landscape Evolve

    Above ground pool with landscaping on either side

    Shelter Custom-Built Living

    This above ground pool resides beneath towering trees that are evolving around the pool as time passes on. It's not overly landscaped, but is instead becoming part of its environment as the trees and plants grow.

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  • 02 of 20

    Vary the Heights of Planters

    Above ground pool with minimalist landscaping

    Designing Vibes

    When using planters on a pool deck built around an above ground pool, vary the heights to break up the simplicity of the horizontal slats and plank. On this deck, keeping them in symmetrical order from side-to-side adds a tailored edge to a boho-inspired color palette.

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  • 03 of 20

    Use Fast-Growing Herbs and Shrubs

    Lavender around above ground pool

    SimplyCreativePhotography / Getty Images

    When you're landscaping around an above ground pool and want to cover up its sides as soon as possible to help it blend in with the landscape, opt for fast growing plants. In summer, herbs like lavender and rosemary will spring up quickly, helping to provide coverage without a long wait time.

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  • 04 of 20

    Channel the English Countryside

    Above ground pool with lush landscaping

    Cleardesign1 / Getty Images

    This above ground pool contrasts the industrial look of the pool supports with a positively overflowing English countryside-inspired garden. From the pea gravel to the flowers, the greenery, and the tall shrubs, it feels perfectly imperfect.

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  • 05 of 20

    Plant Hydrangeas

    Above ground pool with hydrangeas

    piovesempre / Getty Images

    You know summer has officially arrived when the hydrangeas start blooming, so why not surround your pool with them? With this above ground pool, one entire side is lined with hydrangeas, which reach the top of the pool decking, making for a dramatic look when they're in full bloom.

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  • 06 of 20

    Settle Into the Surroundings

    above ground pool surrounded by countryside landscaping

    BorisenkovAndrei / Getty Images

    If you're lucky enough to have a backyard filled with wildflowers and natural landscaping, let that serve as the backdrop for your above ground pool. The contrast between the loose, organic flowers and the rigid planking makes for the most compelling backyard look.

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  • 07 of 20

    Echo the Landscape

    Green above ground pool in lush setting

    Jeerayut Rianwed / Getty Images

    This green tiled above ground pool echoes all of its surroundings from the green grass to the trees to the lush hills behind it. There's little need for landscaping beyond its landscape, but the vibrant shrubbery behind the lounge chairs helps set the space apart from the yard beyond it.

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  • 08 of 20

    Surround Yourself With Greenery

    pool surrounded by lush trees

    Mystockimages / Getty Images

    Surrounding your above ground pool with tall greenery is the fastest way to feel like you're on vacation all the time. If they'll grow in your region, use palm trees and other tropical plants to add to the getaway magic.

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  • 09 of 20

    Opt for a Simple Backyard Look

    backyard above ground pool and lounge chair

    hanusst / Getty Images

    Landscaping doesn't have to be complicated. In this backyard, the above ground pool is worked into the landscape, adapting to the slope. There's no fancy landscape plan, instead they rely on simple shrubs for a traditional backyard, ready for a summer cookout.

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  • 10 of 20

    Plant Greenery as Tall as the Pool

    above ground pool with palm tree and landscaping

    hadkhanong_Thailand / Getty Images

    This above ground pool feels less above ground when there are palms and plants that are planted just below it. As they mature, they'll reach the top of the pool, making the pool look like it's part of the landscape rather than towering above it.

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  • 11 of 20

    Don't Landscape

    Minimalist above-ground pool

    Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

    There's something to be said for minimalism. When the view looks like this, don't worry about landscaping or adding elaborate arrangements of planters. Instead, just embrace what Mother Nature has delivered.

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  • 12 of 20

    Plant a Natural Landscape

    Boardwalk to pool surrounded by greenery

    Getty Images/PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou

    The above ground pool becomes part of the natural environment when a rustic wood boardwalk leads the way to a pool surrounded by lush, overflowing plants. There's nothing manicured about this landscape, making the pool feel like it's grown out of the land.

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  • 13 of 20

    Frolic in the Garden

    Pool set in wildflower garden

    Christopher Hopefitch / Getty Images

    If your above ground pool is of the temporary, filled-with-a-hose variety, pull it out into the garden and let the splashes water your flowers and herbs. There's something so sweet about being able to take a dip on a hot summer afternoon, surrounded by blooming flowers and hungry bees.

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  • 14 of 20

    Go Minimalist

    Minimalist above ground pool

    @sarah.wetzel202 / Instagram

    When you use simple pea gravel contrasted against stark black decking and a black tank, minimal greenery is all you'll need. Two potted plants in white planters provide a pop of light against the black.

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  • 15 of 20

    Leverage Different Heights of Plants

    Urban above ground pool with relaxing garden

    Bulgac / Getty Images

    With its sophisticated use of greenery and architectural lines, this relaxing rooftop is begging for a poolside brunch. To take a page out of their playbook, use low lying plants in front of the pool to draw your eye upward, then use tall or climbing plants behind it to help define the space.

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  • 16 of 20

    Build a Gazebo

    above ground pool under a gazebo

    FOTOGRAFIA INC. / Getty Images

    Use a gazebo to set your above ground pool on a stage. Not only does it help frame the pool, but it gives you an opportunity to incorporate shrubbery around the pool, adding height and making it feel like part of the landscape.

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  • 17 of 20

    Create a Desert Oasis

    above ground small pool set in desert landscaping

    Mint Images / Getty Images

    A small plunge pool is just one of the many details that makes this desert oasis so relaxing. And, while the pool is where you'll likely end up most days, it doesn't steal the show. Instead, it acts as a mirage on the horizon, blending right in with the natural stone tile and desert plants.

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  • 18 of 20

    Use Flowers for a Cozy Look

    above ground small pool set in garden

    Image Source / Getty Images

    This above ground pool is the perfect spot to take a nostalgic dip. From the white picket fence to the vibrant flower boxes to the potted flowers lining the platform steps, this look is both charming and easy to pull together.

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  • 19 of 20

    Bring in Sand

    Pool with sand and palm tree

    Portra / Getty Images

    Every day feels like a day at the beach when you use sand as the foundation for your above ground pool landscaping. A simple palm tree and a rustic planter are all you need for this minimalist landscape.

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  • 20 of 20

    Create a Succulent Garden

    Pool with succulents and plants around it

    JR-stock / Getty Images

    This above ground pool feels integrated with the landscape around it thanks to the rocks and various types of succulents that surround its edges.