June 2015

3 Steps to Making a Big Splash around Your Pool

Author: Steve Nichols and Laura Wilson

SPLASH! It’s more than just the commotion made diving into your swimming pool. It’s the upshot of making your pool the oasis where everyone escapes to revel, relax, and rejuvenate—that lush retreat where treasured memories with family or friends flourish. Making a big splash around your pool with plants, landscaping, and lighting may seem like a goliath undertaking, but it’s well within reach if you break the task down into these three easy steps:

Step 1: Planning
Where do you start? Look for inspiration on Pinterest, magazines, vacation photos, you name it! Do you envision tropical terrain, or is privacy your primary purpose? Budget is a key consideration, and then there’s the questions of how much work you’re willing to put in on your own, or pay for. We know what you’re thinking: “What a buzzkill. If I wanted to do a lot of planning, I’d just stay at the office.” Be patient Padawan…without some planning, you’ll never have the happy hideaway of your dreams.
The best way to get started is to consult the professionals. Allan Klingel at The Greenery, Inc. got us started. “We ask a lot of questions to homeowners to understand the overall look that they want to achieve,” Klingel said. “For example, morning sun versus afternoon or all-day sun? The colors of the pool deck? Colors of the pool tiles should also be considered.” Another important question is, “How much time are you willing to spend working in the garden area around your pool? Then, we narrow down the plant options.”

Step 2: Planting
This is where the fun really starts: shopping for plants. For splash, Klingel suggests annuals that have blooms at different hours of the day. “Hibiscuses are always great plants around pools. Using different Coleus can really make a garden pop, mixed with Caladiums, Angelonia, Pentas and other annuals for great summer colors. There are so many different colors and textures available now that are truly fun to use,” he said.

Are there plants and shrubs you should avoid? Klingel said, “We try to stay away from plants around any pool deck that drop their leaves daily, limiting debris entering the pool. Some of the ornamental grasses are not recommended, because the grass blades will scratch the skin. Any of the sharp thorn plants like Roses, Pyracanthas, Yuccas or any of the Oleanders are poisonous.

“It is important to try to make the plants contrast with the textures and the colors of the pool deck and tiles,” Klingel continued. “Once this is accomplished, it is always great to accent with some low voltage lighting.”

Again, relying on the professionals, Ronnie Gable, outdoor lighting specialist at The Greenery advises, “Whether you want to accent natural characteristics of the plant material, bring depth to a patio area, or simply provide for better security… they’re all factors in a landscape lighting plan.” Just like with indoor lighting, you have overall lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. “There are variety of products and styles,” he said, and strategic up-lighting and down-lighting can create the “splash” that homeowners want for outdoor entertaining.

Step 3: Perpetual Pleasure
For the final step to creating splash, consider how much work you are willing to do to perpetuate the “splash” of your outdoor décor. If you choose to do the installation and ongoing maintenance yourself, you should make selections in steps 1 and 2 that match your level of gardening expertise and enthusiasm for working outdoors. Remember: landscaping is alive. Some things thrive, some things die. It’s never really “done.” Even if you choose to have professionals do the work, your choices will impact how much they have to do during each visit.

By following these three basic steps, and consulting seasoned professionals, you will create an oasis around your pool with plants, landscaping, and lighting that will make a splash in every way possible. 

The Greenery has multiple Lowcountry locations. For information, visit thegreeneryinc.com or call the Hilton Head Island location at (843) 785-3848.

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