Swimming pools are a wonderful luxury in summer, but in terms of garden design, they can really become a big, hulking presence that can dominate a backyard- and not necessarily in a good way.
It is possible however, to combine a swimming pool with a garden and do it tastefully. Here is just one example.
Flowerbeds dress up the stone-colored perimeter fencing in this Rosedale, Ontario garden greatly adding to the home's curb appeal.
In the half-shade, there are peonies, hosta, foxglove (above) and a number of varieties of salvia (below).
The clipped box hedging means that the public face of this garden is always tidy and presentable.
On the left, we see the entrance to the garden. (I believe these are two Weeping Copper Beech on either side of the walkway to the backyard, but please correct me if I am wrong.)
On the right, we are just inside the back gate.
Inside the fence, the garden feels like a secluded oasis.
Boxwood hedges flow seamlessly in from the property's exterior and keep the area around the pool looking neat and tidy.
The backyard has quite a bit of tree cover and shade lovers like hosta (below, top left), brunnera (below, bottom left) purple colored Meadow Rue, Thalictrum (bottom right) and this Japanese Fern (above) have been incorporated into the plantings.
This flower-filled urn adds an extra punch of bright color and an interesting variance in
height to the formal planting.
The boxwood hedge frames this little seating area beautifully.
The greenery also helps to soften the hard edge of the pavers around the pool. (Even if you don't have a pool, this might be a nice way to treat a patio area.)
Set above the pool is a large, vine covered pergola.
Now, wouldn't this be the perfect spot to relax on a lazy summer afternoon? (Even if the pool area were just plain grass, this pergola would work just as nicely into a garden's design.)
The Wisteria was just starting to fade when I took these pictures.
Hanging baskets of flowers and potted plants are used for summer-long color.
Every area has been considered including this spot on the far side of the pool.
You will note there is always just enough decorative touches to be pleasing, but not so many things that a space might become cluttered.
Even if, like me, the only swimming pool you can afford is one of those blow-up kiddie pools, there are still lots of great ideas to take away from this superb garden.