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7 Fantastic Above Ground Pool Landscaping Ideas for Your Backyard

By Axis Fuksman-Kumpa January 3, 2024

Ideas for above ground pool landscaping, enclose with a custom Trex Deck

The above ground pool has become a trend and as landscape design experts, it’s one we are digging! Above ground pools have, well, often a bad reputation but with the right landscape design they can seamlessly meld into your surroundings and look super sophisticated.

It was the spool, the container pool and plunge pool the last few years. But we predict the above ground pool will continue to be the life of the party! Let’s dig into some of our favorite above ground pool landscaping ideas and show some recent Tilly examples!

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#1 // Above Ground Pool Trex Deck

This backyard before and after makeover is something to behold! A covid purchase, this above ground pool was an eyesore. The homeowner’s loved it, but knew they had to incorporate it into their outdoor space to make their yard the backyard oasis they knew it could be. The Tilly plan called for Trex composite decking that the client had custom cut to fit around their pool. While this is an investment, the custom look it gives their outdoor space is key.

This client is phasing their plan and started with the trex deck and artificial turf grass. Next steps will be to invest in a side yard pathway, privacy screens around the pool's filtration system, and a flower bed around the deck to finish off the space. With their existing pergola, string lights, dining, lounge and beautiful new pool area - this outdoor space is ready for a party!

above ground pool deck and above ground pool area with trex wooden deck with flower beds, low maintenance plants and a gardenAfter Tilly (Drone photo)
before image of an above ground swimming pool in an outdoor living space with no landscaping or pool wallsBefore Tilly

an above ground pool landscaping plan with a trex deck around the pool area and led lighting
Tilly’s Backyard & Above Ground Pool Design Plan

#2 // Chic Landscaping Around Above Ground Pool

This above ground pool previously stood out in the middle of this big backyard! The client’s Tilly designer added a small deck around the entire pool with a staircase on one side of the pool to allow for easy access.

The deck is a perfect spot for a parent to add an adirondack chair for pool supervision and decorate with a seasonal planter for a pop of color. A gate can be fixed to the front of the steps to create a barrier and keep the kids safe from entering.

The next step was to choose plants that were native to the area to create a low maintenance design plan for this homeowner. Cornus sericea ‘Silver and Gold’ are placed around one side of the above ground pool to strategically hide the pool mechanics.

Irregular sized stepping stones lead a path from a stone patio entertainment area attachedd to the house to the pool, tying the whole design together.

above ground pool landscaping ideas with potted plants and a wooden deck arround the swimming pool
An above ground pool landscape with native plants and a wooden deck

#3 // A Container Pool with a Multi Level Deck

This above ground pool is encased in wood to match the existing lower level decking, creating a natural appearance multi level deck that feels like it always existed.

A pool cover can be rolled out to cover the small space when the above ground pool not in use or in the winter. Myrica pensylvanica, a deciduous shrub surrounds the deck to cover the sides and create year round greenery! A beautiful mix of plants and flowers are peppered below the deck.

We love the thin modern railing that doesn’t distract from the gorgeous view and allows pool goers to enjoy the sun, garden and beautiful scenery! Life doesn't get much better when you can view a lake from the pool water.

above ground pool ideas - enclose with a wooden deck to make it feel like an in ground pool
Above ground pool deck that seamlessly fits with the existing landscaping ideas

#4 // A Natural Stone Veneer Disguise

This small backyard plunge or above ground pool is concealed with a natural stone veneer that gives a beautiful finish to this eclectic backyard. The pool is 7’x14’ and fits nicely into the design of this small backyard.

The palette includes a wood deck, pea gravel side yard, stone, and a stucco finished retaining wall (not pictured). The pool wall and beautiful hardscape materials used create a more custom look for an above ground pool finish.

A privacy screen of evergreen trees gives this raised pool an isolated and intimate feeling, screened from the hustle and bustle of life.

above ground pool design with stone and an entertainment area around the swimming pool in a small backyards
An above ground pool area with stone finishes

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#5 // A Simple Modern Above Ground Pool Design

This 14 x 9’6’’ above ground pool looks ultra modern with the straight, clean lines and the simple materials palette. The design incorporates gravel, wood and square concrete stepping pads.

The deck is low to the ground and surrounded by ornamental grasses and a variety of evergreens. Colorful perennials are included for seasonal fun!

You'd just need to add palm trees and a bubbling water feature to feel like you are on vacation.

Remember to check your town's pool fence regulations when installing any type of pool design.

above ground pool landscaping ideas, an above ground pool deck ideas of wood surounded by flower beds
An above ground pool with a clean wooden deck

# 6 // No Mow Turf with a Pool on Top

This home was taking advantage of a “Cash for Grass” rebate in their town and their designer replaced 300 square feet of grass with artificial turf, Mexican beach pebbles and native plants.

Because the pool is a fun, temporary addition to the small space (one of the best things about above ground pools!) the homeowner felt no need to hide it. Instead the Tilly designer placed it in the most practical spot in the sun where it could be replaced at a later date with a new yard feature.

The designer chose tropical modern plants in greens and pinks that reflect the homeowner's interior design and truly create an indoor outdoor living vibe.

A privacy screen shields the pool from the driveway.

an above ground swimming pool with a pool privacy screen, native plants, and tropical garden landscaping that reflect the eclectic interior design style
Minimal landscaping for a temporary structure

#7 // Stock Tank Pool with a Cottage Feel

This homeowner worked with Tilly for two above ground pool designs - one where the pool is set within the middle of the property and one where it is on the patio deck.

In the first design, the stock tank pool is placed in the grass with flagstone pads as a pathway to the pool. There are wood steps and a landing for comfort around the pool. To create a cottage garden feel that matches the rest of the yard, plants like Paeonia 'Shirley Temple,' Hemercallis 'On and On,' and Prunus laurocerasus 'Magestic Jade' are used to landscape around the pool. There is a gravel patio at the base.

LED lights on the pathway are included to keep the pool safe to use in the evening.

In the alternative pool design, the patio is built around the pool, giving it a more permanent feel. Large boulders and rocks are used to landscape one side and can make a fun natural diving board for the space!

Creating the patio around the pool makes it feel more like an in ground pool idea and may be a better design option for homeowners who view the pool as a longer term feature.

Where a pool is placed can also be impacted by where the sun and/or trees are in your outdoor space. You may want the pool or the pool deck in an area that gets sun to keep it warmer (depending on your climate). And you may want to keep the pool away from trees so berries and branches don't fall in and add debris.

cheap small above ground pool ideas with a stock tank pool with a wood deck, garden and grass to create a cottage garden vibe

great idea for an above ground pools backyard designs to create a cottage vibe with trees, grass, and a round pool

Like any yard feature, well thought out landscape design can incorporate any backyard pool into your outdoor space and look amazing, custom and high end!

The options for landscaping are endless, but it is important to make smart decisions based on your climate, goals and budget. We always recommend having a master plan that you can phase as time and budget allows. This is true for in ground swimming pools, nice above ground pools - or anything else you add to your yard.

Have an in ground pool area you need help with? Our talented team of landscape designers across the country have endless swimming pool design ideas.

Need some help? We can help!

Read more about: Tilly Portfolio, Landscape Design Tips