Bold flower colors contrast pleasingly with the blue pool.

Good Bushes to Put Around a Pool Enclosure

by Jenny Green

Lounging by the pool while the kids play in the water is a wonderful way to spend precious leisure time. While a chain-link fence or wall enclosure can ruin the view, beautiful bushes along the safety fencing helps it blend seamlessly with the rest of the natural landscape and brings greenery and flowers to your pool-side view. Within the enclosure, tough shrubs that drop little litter make the best poolside plantings. They tolerate heat from hardscaping and reflected glare from the water, and they won't fill the pool with leaves. Container shrubs provide foliage and color, soften hardscaping lines, and strategically placed, even help you enforce the poolside "No Running" rule.

1. Structure

The tall safety fencing that encloses the pool area can be camoflauged with tall structural planting. Princess flower (Tibouchina urvilleana) provides height and flowers, growing 12 to 15 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide, and bearing large, deep purple flowers from early spring through summer. Thriving in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11, princess flower adds tropical enchantment to poolside plantings. Hardy schefflera (Schefflera brevipedunculata) is another structural shrub that reflects the tropics. Growing 10 to 15 feet tall and wide, its foliage matures from pale fawn to deep green, spring through summer. Suitable for USDA zones 7 through 10, hardy schefflera displays white, summer flowers followed by purple fruit.

2. Foliage

Evergreen foliage plants provide year-round cooling green and add a natural look to the pool area. Japanese aralia (Fatsia japonica) bears deeply-lobed, 12-inch-wide leaves and grows 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Preferring a shady site, this shrub is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10 and grows well in containers. The mock orange, trademarked Turner's Pitt (Pittosporum tobira "Turner's Variegated Dwarf") is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 11 and grows 1 foot tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. This mock orange bears glossy green leaves with pale yellow margins that create an illusion of sun-dappled foliage. It thrives in full sun or partial shade.

3. Color

Bursts of bright flower color add beauty to poolside enclosures, and scented blooms perfume the air. Pineapple guava (Feijoa sellowiana) bears unusual edible white and purplish flowers with scarlet stamens followed by delicious fruit. Growing slowly to 15 feet tall and wide, pineapple guava responds well to pruning and is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10. Sweet viburnum "Chindo" (Viburnum awabuki "Chindo") scents the late spring air with its white blooms. Hardy in USDA zones 7 to 11, "Chindo" grows 12 feet tall with a spread just as wide, bears red fruits that mature to black and prefers full-sun and partial-shade sites.

4. Containers

Heat-tolerant small shrubs in containers add natural beauty around a pool's edges. Mexican heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia) is a compact shrub that grows well in containers and bears prolific purple flowers summer through fall. Growing quickly to 2 feet tall and wide, it is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 11. Cajun hibiscus "Heat Flash" (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis "Heat Flash") is another long-blooming shrub suitable for containers. The large and stunning golden yellow flowers with their pink centers bloom from spring through summer -- year-round in mild climates -- and the bush grows 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. "Heat Flash" grows well in either full sun or partial shade and is hardy in USDA zones 10 through 11.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images