Archives for Swimming Pool Landscaping Ideas

pool and landscaping packages

9 great reasons for Pool and Landscaping Packages

Integrated swimming pool and landscaping packages are a cost-effective solution for Melbourne homes.


1.     Landscape Design

The swimming pool or spa should be the landscape design focal point for the home landscape. Creating the design as a swimming pool and landscaping package is a great way to make this happen.

pool and landscape design package

Landscape design with the pool as a focal point. The access paths and poolside entertainment areas are part of the design.

The swimming pool as a landscape design focal point.

Using the Landscape Design 3D design tools, the focal point for any viewpoint in the landscape can be designed. The design of water features as a focal point in the landscape is a landscape design principle that goes back as least as far as the ancient Babylonian paradise gardens. Water was an important focal point in Islamic, Roman and Italian gardens of the High Renaissance.


Ancient Pool Canopus. The ruins of Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli has influenced landscapers and architects for centuries.

Ancient Pool Canopus, surrounded by greek sculptures in Hadrian’s Villa (Villa Adriana, 2nd century AD), Tivoli, Italy
UNESCO World Heritage Site

2.     Cost Effective Landscape design with pool and landscaping packages.

Digging separate trenches for swimming pool infrastructure, like swimming pool plumbing and electrical wiring, and landscaping infrastructure, such as drainage, irrigation, and garden lighting, is a waste of money. Integrating the pool and landscaping means that infrastructure trenches are shared. It also saves the labour of having to run pipes and wiring under paths and paving.

Installation of Swimming Pool Infrastructure.

Installation of Swimming Pool Infrastructure.

Materials required for both the pool and landscape can be bought in bulk to save money and materials removed from pool dig can sometimes be reused in the landscape.

3.     Design of Garden Lighting

With integrated swimming pool and landscape design packages, there is a great opportunity to harmonise the design of garden and pool lighting. The shared infrastructure is also an opportunity to save money.

Landscaping and Pool design package. Checking the garden lighting.

Landscaping and Pool design package. Checking the garden lighting with the landscaping CAD model.


pool and landscape design package

Integrated Pool and landscaping lighting

4.     Lower Swimming Pool Maintenance.

lap pool design

Careful pool landscaping plant selection reduces pool maintenance and may save your pool pump.

Careful selection of the plants around pools in Melbourne can save money in swimming pool maintenance. Selecting the wrong plants next to your home swimming pool can result in continually cleaning of the pool skimmer box. A blocked skimmer box can lead to cavitation in the swimming pool pump leading to much shorter pump life. The landscape should be designed with plants that will not block the skimmer box.


5.     Swimming Pool Privacy with the pool and landscaping package.

Using modern 3D landscape design tools, the privacy of the swimming pool can be checked from any viewpoint. These viewpoints can even be your neighbour’s window or the footpath at the front of your home.

Pool and Landscaping Package. Checking the Privacy.

Pool and Landscaping Package. Checking the Privacy. Fast growing screening plants or climbing plants can be added if any deficiencies are found in the CAD model.

6.     Swimming Pool Supervision and safety.

Young children need to be under close supervision at all times and this should be close to the pool. Sometimes parents like to keep an eye on older children as well. Using 3D design the view from the windows and balconies of the home can be checked when designing the landscape. This also ads emphasis to the use of the swimming pool as a landscape design focal point.

pool and landscaping packages

Pool and landscaping packages using 3D CAD and photorealist rendering. Checking the view of the pool from the balcony.

The view of the pool and landscape can also be visualised from inside the home.

Pool and Landscape viewed through the window of the home.

Pool and Landscape viewed through the window of the home.


7.     Hiding the Swimming Pool Pump and Filter.

The pool and landscaping packages can be used to find the optimum position for the pump and filter. These less attractive parts of the pool design can be hidden away from view and placed in a location where noise from the pump is less noticeable. Access to the pump and filter can be checked for ease of access for maintenance.

lap pool design.

Lap pool design. Checking the view from the entertainment area using 3D CAD Landscape Design.


8.     Designing for Swimming Pool Shade

Using the 3D landscape design tools, the shadows of buildings can be factored into the design. If there is insufficient shade for the swimming pool, then a pergola can be added to the design. This is a much cheaper option than adding the pergola later.

pool and landscaping design. The view from the pergola.

The view from the pergola. Shade can be designed into the pool and landscaping package. Note the partial shade from the Pergola over the spa.

9.     Putting it all together as a Pool and Landscaping Package

The pool and landscape design package can be brought together and presented as a virtual fly through for the client. This makes the overall client approval process much easier.


lap design

Lap Swimming Pool design


The view of the entertainment area.

The view of the entertainment area.


Outdoor Play Area

Outdoor Play Area


CAD Design

A View generated with CAD.

Pool and Landscaping Packages

In summary, there are many reasons for choosing Pool and Landscaping Packages for you home landscape design. Amongst theses are the opportunities to save money through reduced waste and economies of scale. More importantly, an integrated package will result in a better outcome for your home landscape design.


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Concrete Swimming Pool Construction and Design.


© 2020 Reds Landscaping Melbourne



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Custom Swimming Pool Design of a Lap Pool

5 Top Custom Swimming Pool Designs and trends.

The pool designs we are now seeing as the trend or fashion for residential swimming pools were once only seen in exclusive holiday resorts. Occasionally these swimming pool designs would be seen on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, but rarely as a residential suburban swimming pool. This is especially the case with our first pool design trend, the infinity edge pool.


1.    Infinity Edge Pool Designs

The infinity edge pool design is so named as the edge of the pool is invisible to the eye and the pool appears to extend forever. The delineation between the water in the pool and the surrounding landscape features are difficult to discern. This pool design works brilliantly if the background landscape is a large body of water with which the pool water appears to blend.

Infinity edges swimming Pool designs

Infinity edges swimming Pool designs. The far edge of the pool blends in to the scenery.

2.   Lap Pool Designs

The lap pool design is ideal if you have a narrow garden and enjoy swimming for exercise.

The long narrow lap pool is generally designed to have a have a swimming length between 15 to 30 metres and a flat bottom with a depth of around 1.5 metres. The width of the swimming pool can vary between 2 metres wide to 5 metres wide.

Lap swimming pool designs go along luxury house

Lap swimming pool Designs are ideal for the sports enthusiast.

Using CAD landscape design, we can create an integrated landscape and pool design package to suit your home and show you how it will look from any angle.

Custom design lap pool

A custom designed lap pool photo-realistic visualisation using landscape design tools.

3.    The Kidney Shaped Pool

The Kidney shaped pool design is ideal for a naturalistic landscaped garden. They are more a design for landscape aesthetic appeal rather than the serious lap swimmer. None the less, they are still a great pool for the kids to have fun and cool off in. the design of the kidney shaped pool has been credited to modernist landscape architect Thomas Church. Church was a pioneer of the landscape design style that became known as the “California Style”. People often associate this pool design with California and Palm Springs style and elegance.

Kidney shaped.

Kidney shaped pool designs are a statement of modernist landscape architecture.

The kidney shaped pool can be custom built to an almost limitless number of shapes, sizes and colours.

Blue Kidney Shaped

A Blue Kidney shaped pool with spa and waterfall.

4.    Beach Bench Swimming Pools

These pools are designed with a shallow ledge in part of the pool which is great for getting a tan whilst cooling off in the water. In fact this design style is also know as the “sun shelf” or “Tanning Ledge”. The ledges themselves can be free formed shapes or a geometric design to suit the pool. These can be circular, semi-circular or rectangular with rounded edges.

The ledges can be designed a little deeper for the placement of sun-lounges in the pool.

The ledges are also a great place for the supervised play of both dogs and children in the pool.

A shallow ledge for sun-lounges.

Swimming Pool design with a shallow ledge for sun-lounges.

The Beach Bench Design can also incorporate part of the swimming pool internal steps for ease of getting in and out of the pool. This design is also a good solution for people with mobility issues who might find getting in and out of the pool difficult.

Pool steps incorporating a swimming pool ledge.

Pool steps incorporating a swimming pool ledge for ease of getting in and out of the pool.

The swimming pool bench can be designed in to most pool shapes without too much difficulty.

Swimming pool bench

A swimming pool bench can be designed into most pool shapes.

5.    The Plunge Pool Designs.

A great pool for the small garden that still gives you a way to cool off after a day in the hot Melbourne sun. The plunge pool is a deep pool but with reduced length and width. Another advantage of the plunge pool is that they are a little cheaper to heat and maintain. They can also be custom designed to fit into an unusual or small space in your garden.

Plunge Pool.

The Plunge Pool Design often has stainless steel stairs to save space in a small garden.

Contact Us for Pool and Landscaping packages

Contact us to discuss a bespoke swimming pool design for your Melbourne Garden. 

We can show you how our CAD team can create a photorealistic custom swimming pool design or pool and landscaping packages for your home.

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Swimming pool design with Pergola

Concrete Swimming Pool Construction and Design.

The Swimming Pool, as the name suggests, is a man-made pool which holds water for the family to swim in. Swimming pools can be made with a variety of different materials depending on the application and location. A roof-top swimming pool, for example, looks better when one of its sides is made with Reinforced Glass or fibre Glass. Container tank swimming pools are also pretty common these days. These are swimming pools in which an old container is made water tight and then converted to a swimming pool. This construction technique makes the construction and relocation of swimming pool easier.

By designing the swimming pool using 3D CAD all of the material thickness and strength requirements can be checked prior to the pool construction starting.

By designing the swimming pool using 3D CAD all of the material thickness and strength requirements can be checked prior to the pool construction starting.

In all other cases where swimming pool is usually made on ground level, Concrete is the most preferred material – thanks to its durability, straight forward construction techniques, lower cost and easy availability. These kind of swimming pools last much longer than the other kinds and give a classic look which we have seen in movies.

The Concrete Swimming Pool is the most popular choice for in-ground pools. They initial costs are soon paid back with the longer life of the swimming pool Also, unlike other kinds of pools, concrete pools are serviceable and therefore can be repaired and even enlarged afterwards.

Concrete Swimming Pool Construction and Design

Concrete used in the construction of swimming pool has to be reinforced, usually with Grade 60 Steel. Reinforcement is required as he concrete experiences bending stresses produced from water – and soil, when constructed in-ground.

Concrete swimming pool reinforcement for a shallow pool.

Concrete swimming pool reinforcement for a shallow pool.

The greater the depth of water, the stronger the swimming pool walls need to be. A normal strength Concrete, M20 or higher grade would work fine for the swimming pool. Reinforcement and Concrete should be designed in detail prior to beginning construction of the swimming pool.

As it can be seen from the illustration of the masonry wall, greater strength is required in the bottom of the wall. The floor of swimming pool, on the other hand, experiences the same vertical pressure at every point and therefore requires the same reinforcement in every part of it.

Steel reinforcement of a concrete swimming pool

Steel reinforcement of a concrete swimming pool

If constructed in-ground, as already mentioned, Reinforced Concrete doesn’t only have to bear the loads of water but also of the surrounding soil. The reinforced wall acts as a retaining wall, retaining the load of soil at two different levels. The load of water and soil counteract each other as the loads of soil are distributed in the same manner as of water.

However, the swimming pool should be designed in a manner that it can resist the soil loads even when the pool is empty. An empty pool would lack the pressure from water that would help counteract the soil pressure.

Swimming Pool Design considerations

When designing a Swimming Pool which is only partially in-ground and extends above ground level, soil pressure is not considered for the part which is above the ground level. Only, water pressure is considered for that part of the design.

The design of such Reinforced Concrete walls is always based on standard regulations which define the minimum strength of Concrete and Steel which should be used for the construction – M20 Concrete and Grade 60 Steel with a minimum wall thickness of 6 inches are American Concrete Institute (ACI) Requirements for example.

The reinforcement can be steel or any other material such as CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer) or GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer). These Polymer based Reinforcement types usually have higher tensile strength and make Reinforced Concrete a relatively ductile material. They are usually expensive than Steel but since these reinforcement types are stronger, a lower amount would be used.

Concrete Swimming Pool Construction

  1. Selection of Land and Design
    This includes the architectural as well as structural design. The depth of Pool affects the amount of steel and the thickness of concrete wall.
  2. Excavation of Earth
  3. Compaction of Soil
  4. Construction of Swimming Pool Base
    A lean concrete base is provided before the actual construction of floor. This should be done at a gradient so that the emptying of swimming pool would be easier at later stages.
  5. Steel Cage placement
  6. Pump and Filter System Placement
  7. Concreting – This can be done using Shotcrete technique or formwork. Shotcrete eliminates the chances of gaps.
  8. Waterproofing of Concrete – This can be done using Tiles, Glass, Ceramic or Epoxy or any other water-proofing method.
  9. Coping Construction.
Shotcrete of the swimming pool

Shotcrete of the swimming pool. Note the extra steel reinforcement at the bottom of the pool wall. This as well as the blended radius makes the pool wall even stronger at the bottom.


Concrete complete and pool tiling begun.

Concrete complete and pool tiling begun.


There are a number of questions that usually arise when one talks about Reinforced Concrete Swimming Pools. Some of the frequently asked questions are answered below.

Do concrete pools need waterproofing?

If Concrete, is not sealed properly, it would leak water to the surrounding soil. This causes problems as the soil in the surrounding would get wet. The soil would exert a higher pressure since water and soil would act together now.

This also poses the risk of uplift water pressure.

Piping and Soil erosion is also possible which would leave a hollow space in the underlying soil and therefore it wouldn’t be able to bear the loads and would have chances of collapse.

How long do concrete pools last?

It usually depends on the conditions it is exposed to. A structural designer mentions the service life of the structure he designs. On average, the Reinforced Concrete Pools survive 40-60 years. Salt water Pools survive shorter than Fresh Water Pools since Salt intrusion in Concrete causes some complications.

What type of Concrete is used for Swimming Pools?

Conventional Concrete can be used for the construction of the pool. Usually M20 Grade concrete or higher can suffice the structural needs. However, it is preferable to use to water proofing admixtures in the concrete.

The resulting concrete would have lesser or almost zero infiltration of water and consequently, a longer service life.

Are Concrete Pools Better?

It actually depends requirements and location of the  pool. But in general, Reinforced Concrete Swimming Pools are cheaper and easier to construct.

If necessary later in life, the repairing of Reinforced Concrete Swimming Pools is much easier as compared to other materials like fibreglass pools.

Design of Swimming Pools using 3D CAD.

By designing the swimming pool using 3D CAD all of the material thickness and strength requirements can be checked prior to the pool construction starting. Additionally, the pool can be viewed from any angle to ensure the privacy and aesthetic design goals are met from any possible viewing angle. This is a great design tool when designing an integrated landscaping and swimming pool package. The 3D swimming pool and landscaping fly-through is a great way for the customer to visualise the finished product before pool design sign-off.

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eco pools

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

Eco Pools, a new type of swimming pool on an old theme.

With the rise of climate change and awareness of our environmental impact on the world, many of us are trying to incorporate everyday practices that reduce our environmental footprint.  Ensuring appropriate use of our natural resources, such as water, is one consideration. Whilst we can limit water use in the garden, there has been one glaringly obvious backyard addition that has traditionally been overlooked.

What are Eco Pools?

Eco swimming pools are a new style of pool that is emerging into the mainstream arena. Eco pools are essentially any pool that uses a natural purification system rather than traditional chemicals such as salt or chlorine. Whilst the concept is not new (the movement for backyard eco pools started in the 1980’s), the creation and maintenance of these types of pools is more environmentally beneficial when compared to conventional pools.

A tranquil tropical look eco pool.

A tranquil tropical look eco pool.

How do Eco Pools benefit the Planet

An eco pool is beneficial to both the planet and the user by:

  • Using less of the planet’s resources
  • Providing a healthier swimming environment for the users
  • Saving the user money long-term on maintenance expenses
  • Creating habitats for local wildlife and flora

How do the Pools work?

Eco pools work by mimicking the same processes that occur in natural, high functioning healthy water bodies (such as lakes). When the ecosystem is balanced, the water is clean and safe to use.

The Zone system

Generally eco pools contain two separate zones; one for recreational use and the other for water purification. A ‘recreational zone’ would consist of 50 to 70% of the total water surface area while the remaining area is reserved for water purification. The water purification system utilises aquatic plants and microorganisms as living filters to clean and filter the water. These plants and microorganisms work in harmony to oxygenate the water and remove impurities and excess nutrients. This area is referred to as the ‘regeneration zone’, and is either incorporated into the overall structure of the eco pool or can be separated from the recreational zone by a dividing wall.

eco pools

House with an environmental pond pool. 3D CAD rendering shows the different pool zones


The regeneration zone is generally shallow, with a coarse aggregate to assist in filtration, and the pH levels must be maintained between 5.5 and 7 to ensure natural balance and equilibrium.


What about Algae and Mosquitos?

One of the biggest concerns from those considering an eco pool is that it will encourage algal growth and mosquito breeding. A high functioning, well-designed eco pool that is in balance will do neither of these things. The use of oxygenating aquatic plants will absorb nitrates and phosphates, which will slow the growth of algae. Furthermore, a deep recreational zone that is in shade will not provide adequate conditions for algae growth. In regard to mosquitoes, the constant movement of the water through the natural filtration systems will discourage them from depositing their larvae in the pool. However, if larvae did become present, the eco pool is designed to also attract natural predators (such as birds) that would eat the larvae.

What type of Plants are used?

There are three types of plants that will regulate the water:

  • Floating plants: provide shade and protect microorganisms from UV rays
  • Oxygenating plants: absorb nitrates and phosphates
  • Biological filters: remove excess nutrients from the water

Eco Pools are Low Maintenance

Ongoing cleaning and maintenance of an eco pool is less taxing than a conventional pool. However, it is recommended that two deep cleans occur each year, as well as weekly maintenance to remove leaves and debris. In addition to this, it may be necessary from time to time to provide fertilisers to the aquatic plants to improve their condition.


eco pool and egg chair

A tranquil eco pool with an egg chair hovering above it.

Overall, eco pools are the ideal solution for anyone wishing to reduce their environmental impact whilst still enjoying a plunge in the backyard during summer!


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© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

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Lavender border opposite a swimming pool

13 Best Pool Landscaping Design ideas

Pool landscaping design provides some challenges for the horticulturist as well as for the hard landscaper and landscape designer.

Plant selection pitfalls

The landscape designer should choose plants that will not shed too much material into the pool which would consequently result in a mess in the pool. Garden plants and trees that shed a large amount of material into the swimming pool will consequently  create a lot of pool maintenance headaches for the swimming pool owner and may lead to pool pump damage if the skimmer box is blocked. A blocked skimmer box can also result in cavitation at the pump impellers leading to costly repairs. Another important factor to consider is the tree roots. If you need some shade over your pool to escape the hot Melbourne sun, consider a pergola installation or using shade cloth.

Consider the plant root system

The root system will be a similar size to the plant branches and leaves, so fast growing plants could have root systems invading the swimming pool plumbing. For this reason, root barriers should be used between the larger plants and the swimming pool plumbing.

What are the best trees to plant around pools in Australia?

Planting around your Pool. Our top 8 plants.

One of our favourite planting scheme for planting around pools and also for rooftop gardens is the tropical look garden. This landscape design theme will result in a luxuriant exotic look therefore enhancing the feeling of tranquility. The plants for this design theme can be frost resistant hardy plants therefore ideal for the Melbourne climate.

Dicksonia Antarctica


Ferns like Dicksonia Antarctica are great for garden and pool privacy.

Ferns like Dicksonia Antarctica are great for garden and pool privacy and can give the pool area and exotic pseudo tropical look.


Dicksonia Antactica with hostas, azaleas and irises.

Dicksonia Antactica with hostas, azaleas and irises.



Dicksonia Antartica

Dicksonia Antartica underplanted with hostas and smaller ferns. This creates an exotic look and a great privacy screen.

Dicksonia  antarctica is an evergreen tree fern that grows naturally in the Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne, which also means it is ideal for the Melbourne Garden.


It grows naturally in the damp shady gullies which also means you will need to keep it well watered at the crown. For this reason, we recommend a drip irrigation system. Underplanting with smaller ferns and hostas will also add to an exotic tropical effect in your garden.

Blechnum gibbum

The miniature tree fern or Blechnum gibbum usually grows a truck like e tree fern.  The fronds can grownup to 1 metre long.

Blechnum gibbum

Blechnum gibbum or miniature tree fern



Cycad gives a garden an exotic look.

Cycads covered the earth during the time of the dinosaurs. These plants are great for creating the exotic tropical look in your Melbourne garden.

Chinese Windmill Palm

The Trachycarpus Fortunei is a very hardy, frost resistant palm. Also known as the Chusan palm, it is salt tolerant which also makes it a good choice for coastal gardens.


Chinese Wind Mill Palms with Cordylines at Kew Gardens.

Chinese Windmill Palms with Cordylines at Kew Gardens.


Cordyline are a slow growing palm like tree. The cordyline indivisa will eventually grow to around 3 metres.

Cordyline indivisa

Cordyline indivisa. . indivisa is a slow-growing, evergreen erect tree reaching heights of 3m or more.



Hosta a herbaceous perennial. Attractive foliage sometimes variegated.

Hosta a herbaceous perennial with attractive foliage sometimes variegated. Flowers in early summer. – Chelsea Flower Show 2018

The hosta has  stunning large spade shaped foliage in an amazing range of colours. For this reason, hosta is a garden favourite the world over with both gardeners and flower arrangers. Hosta will thrive in the moist shady conditions under the ferns or near a pool or pond.

Banksia Robur

Screening privacy plants like the BANKSIA ROBUR or swamp banksia have large leaves and will therefore help with privacy around your swimming pool. This banksia  is an attractive and hardy plant ,suitable for low hedges and pots. Growing to a little over 2 metres, the flower spikes appear usually in autumn and winter initially as bluish green but these will turn to yellow-green brush type flowers as they bloom.

Banksia Robur is also know as the Swamp Banksia

Unsurprisingly, given its name Swamp Banksia, it doesn’t mind badly draining soil. It might be the plant you are looking for to plant in a damp spot in your garden. It has even been used as a root stock for less hardy varieties of Banksia. If you are in one of the frosty suburbs, it will tolerate a little frost now and again. Suitable for sun or part shade it will produce beautiful flowers in both. As an added bonus in your garden it will attract birds, bees and butterflies. Like most Banksias, it is an important source of nectar for both insects and mammals.


Banksia Robur Poolside

Banksia Robur Poolside

Bansia Robur’s Natural Habitat.

The leaves are large and have serrated edges. This Banksia occurs naturally in swampy or sandy conditions along the East coast of Australia from Southern New South Wales all of the way up to Gladstone in Queensland. This makes it an ideal plant for the coastal gardens. Take care not to let it dry out too much, especially when it is first getting established. For this reason, an irrigation dripping system is a good idea.

Banksia Robur in a planter box by a swimming pool.

Banksia Robur in a rendered concrete block planter box by a swimming pool.

Another plant to consider is the banksia coccinea or red Banksia.

Kentia Palm (Howea fosteriana) by the pool

If you are looking for swimming pool landscaping ideas, the Kentia Palm (Howea fosteriana) makes a great plant for creating a luxuriant garden by the pool. It also provides a little shade as well as softening the look of the landscape. Amongst the palms, it is one of the easier ones to maintain.

(Howea fosteriana) Kentia Palm by a swimming pool.
Kentia Palm by a swimming pool.

The Kentia Palm from Lord Howe Island can create a tropical look in Melbourne

Also known as the Forster sentry palm or the flat palm, the Kentia Palm has solitary stems bearing large pinnate leaves on long stalks. This evergreen palm is native to Lord Howe island. The Kentia is tolerant to partial shade, and will grow to around 2 metres tall in your poolside garden or pot. This makes it a great plant for creating a little shady spot by the side of your pool. It prefers well drained sandy loam with a neutral to acid PH. It is also a popular indoor plant, so it is a palm you can grow both in an outdoor or indoor pot.



For a splash of colour in your pool garden, why not plant some Strelitzia or Bird of Paradise.  This South African native will help to create interest in a tropical look garden.


Pool Plants to avoid

Plants to avoid around swimming pools are fast growing plants with invasive root systems and plants that shed a lot of material into the pool. Plants to avoid include Birch, Wisterias and Figs.

Pool Landscaping Design Project Melbourne

A well designed outdoor space should function as extension of the home itself. For our new pool landscaping design project in the leafy southern suburbs of Melbourne our aim is to make this outdoor space an integral part of the home itself. The design of the swimming pool landscape should be done at an early stage of the pool design rather than tacked on later. This will usually result in a better design outcome.

Pool Design Concepts explored using Trimble Sketchup Pro.

The initial swimming pool design concepts are explored using Trimble Sketchup Pro. This 3D design tool has a great range of landscape garden plants that can be downloaded and added to the CAD model. This is a great way to do the initial planning of the swimming pool design and landscape design package.


pool landscaping designs Computer Model

Pool landscaping designs using computer aided design. An integrated outdoor space. that looks good from every angle.

The pool landscape design features a sunken outdoor eating area with fireplace surrounded by a formal hedge. Tall fences provide a privacy screen whilst still allowing some light through.


pool landscaping designs sunken outdoor entertaining area.

Sunken outdoor entertaining area by the swimming pool.

The green formal hedge creates a soft border between the sunken eating area and softens the look of the concrete. The cushions in the seating area could be coloured to match the garden plants or left as a neutral grey. Grey will go with most colours in the garden but some coloured cushions would help break up the grey.

How do you build privacy around a pool?

Privacy around a pool can be built with fences, trellises and smart plant selection. Using CAD (Computer Aided Design) the privacy aspects of the design can be checked from any angle and agreed with the client.




By using computer aided design to create a computer model of the bespoke pool design enables the fine details to be worked out in advance. One of the great advantages of this type of landscape design is that the view can be checked from every angle. Privacy can be built around a pool using screening plants, then checked from the viewpoint of your neighbour.

Sunken outdoor entertaining area with fireplace

The sunken outdoor entertaining area helps to improve garden privacy whilst making it easy to keep an eye on kids. This type of design using garden levels as a design feature also makes the garden appear larger. This is also a great design technique for small garden design.

Sunken Garden Design - Chelsea Flower Show.

Design inspiration Sunken Garden Design with Buxus hedge – Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Note the use coloured cushions to match the flowers. The sunken concrete pavers provides a repetition theme throughout the garden.

Bespoke Swimming Pool Design. The next Steps.

After the approval of the initial concept, the swimming pool design moves into the next phase. The 3D cad model is then processed to create photorealistic scenes to finalise the pool and landscaping packages. Autocad from Autodesk used for linework and scale. The final visualisation including the vegetation was done in Twinmotion from Unreal Engine. Which is great for 3D architectural visualisation. Using these design tools, the client can be shown how the pool will look when viewed from the pergola or from the balcony or even from a neighbour’s window.

Swimming Pool Detailed Design Drawings

For the swimming Pool Construction detailed 2D drawings need to be produced for the landscapers to begin excavation and to obtain the required local government approvals.

pool and landscaping packages

Checking the view from the pergola.


Checking the view from the balcony

Checking the view from the balcony

Finalise the pool design ideas

Once the pool and landscaping package design phase is complete, a fly-through of photorealistic model is produced for the customer and to confirm all of the finer details of pool and landscaping design. Details like pool plumbing and pool and garden lighting are checked.


The fine details of Pool and Landscaping Design

Exposed Aggregate Concrete around your Swimming Pool.

Exposed aggregate is a great choice for swimming pool surrounds but choosing the right mix is important. Larger aggregates will provide better drainage and grip, but will be uncomfortable to walk on. According to the Swimming Pool and Spa Association (SPASA) the areas around the pool must be a low slip surface. For exposed aggregate concrete around swimming pools, a 5mm pebble aggregate should be used.

The Outdoor Shower as part of your Swimming Pool Design.

If you are living one of the Melbourne seaside suburbs like Brighton or Elwood, an outdoor shower is a great addition to your  Garden Design. The outdoor pictured below features matching pool tiling, copper pipe and brass shower head.

Tiled Outdoor Shower

Tiled Outdoor Shower under construction. The outdoor shower is great for coastal gardens like Hampton or near the swimming pool for washing off the chlorine.

An outdoor pool shower. A practical solution for coastal gardens.

Outdoor pool showers are very practical solution especially in coastal gardens where swimming pools and beach access are part of our Melbourne beach lifestyle. The outdoor pool shower is a good way to avoid having beach sand taken through the house. It is also a handy way to quickly remove salt or pool chlorine and other chemicals from your skin and hair.

Outdoor Shower Under Construction

Concrete block Outdoor Shower Under Construction

Outdoor Pool Shower Design

The design of the outdoor shower involves more than just the part you can see above the ground. Consideration must be given to the appearance of the shower from every possible angle therefore plumbing to and from the shower should be integrated into the initial design.

Plant Selection near your outdoor shower

The garden and landscape design in the immediate area of the shower need to be able to cope with the added humidity, water splash and pool chemicals, therefore plants which are prone to fungal diseases should be avoided. For example, the common staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) will also soften the design and create a natural look, but may need regular maintenance to protect it from fungal diseases. Consider using Foxtail Palm trees (Wodyetia bifurcata)

Giant Bromeliads, (Alcantarea), crotons and White Spider Lilies .  A well designed outdoor pool shower should also create a feature piece in the garden.

Consideration should also be given to easy access to the shower without having to walk over slippery surfaces. The safety of the customers should always should also always be considered with any garden design. The shower wall itself needs to be well secured into the foundations in order to keep it vertical and ensure safety and design requirements are met.

Red’s Landscaping and Civil

Red’s Landscaping and Civil can provide design and build solutions which also includes design with 3D visualisation,  construction and landscaping.


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More information on decorative concretes

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Hanson Bokhara Exposed aggregate concrete.

Exposed aggregate concrete paths

Exposed aggregate concrete is a great design solution for public spaces. The attractive durable not slip surface makes it an ideal choice for landscape architects. High traffic areas around public buildings often use this type of concrete path.

Exposed Aggregate Colours

The aggregates are available in a wide range of colours to suit your landscape design.  The available colours include red, brown, dark grey basalt, green quarts as well as black and white. In combination with this selection, the fine grain aggregates or sands are also available in a wide range of selections. The colour of these these fine aggregate will also be the more dominant when the surface is lightly abraded. However, more heavily abraded surfaces will result in more of the colour of the course aggregates showing.  This will result in a different appearance for the exposed aggregate concrete path. Coupled with this, the cement matrix can also have colour added. Always take these factors into account when selecting the aggregates and especially during the process of exposing the aggregates.

Exposing the aggregate

In addition to this, exposing the aggregate at a different concrete curing time can lead to different appearance. Similarly, this can result in colour differences for the same site for the same aggregate concrete pathway. To maintain quality, the landscaper must use a consistent approach to exposing the aggregates. As a rule of thumb, no more than 1/3 of the aggregate should be exposed.




The suitability of Exposed Aggregate Pathways

The landscape architect needs to also consider the use of the exposed aggregate concrete path when selecting the aggregate. Use a fine rounded aggregate for areas near swimming pools. For exposed aggregate concrete paths where water drainage is important, 19mm aggregates should be used.  Exposed aggregates of more than 20mm can be very difficult to transport using a concrete pump.

Exposed aggregate concrete strength

When rounded pebbles are used throughout the path, the path will be slightly less strong. This is because the matrix will not bond to the aggregate as tightly as it will with rough shaped aggregates.  Generally, the path should be at least 100mm thick N25 concrete. N25 means that the concrete will achieve a compressive strength of 25 mPa after 28 days.

Preventing Cracks

Even the strongest concrete will be weak in tension or bending and even properly cured concrete will have microcracks. Therefore, to minimise cracking steel reinforcement must be used. For pathways, this should be at least SL 72 using saddles to keep it in the top 1/3 of the concrete.  SL72 means that the bars are each 7mm in diameter with grids of 200mm. The path should be laid on 100mm thick class 3 roadbase , if it is for public spaces. If there is any possibility of a vehicle driving on the path, then the path needs to be built like an exposed aggregate concrete driveway. This will be the case with any vehicle crossovers in the path design. In these cases the concrete needs to be at lease 125mm thick N32 (32mPa) concrete with SL92 mesh laid on at least 100mm of class 2 roadbase.

Landscape design with exposed aggregate concrete

Outdoor Furniture on Exposed aggregate concrete.

Durable Outdoor Garden Furniture on Exposed aggregate concrete. ACLA Consultants landscape architects.

Using alternating concrete colour to break up large areas of concrete.

When the customer requirements call for a large expanse of exposed concrete, alternating contrasting colours can help to break up the appearance.  The public space at Balwyn Community Centre, Melbourne, used alternating exposed aggregate concrete of Hanson Bokhara with Hanson Galaxy. The artificial turf also helps to break the appearance of the large area of concrete and gives the area a more tranquil appearance. (ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)

Contrasting Exposed aggregate concrete

Creating some shade with a tree in the concreted area. The tree roots are protected with a slotted stainless steel grate. The lighter colour Hansen Galaxy forms a geometric pattern around the grate.(ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)


Drinking Fountain and exposed aggregate concrete.

Drinking Fountain and exposed aggregate concrete. Hanson Bokhara contrasts well with the natural concrete in-situ walls. (ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)


Hanson Bokhara Exposed aggregate concrete.

Exposed aggregate concrete is ideal for garden steps and stairs to help maintain grip. Recent sealing of the concrete makes it appear slightly darker. (ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)


Alternating exposed aggregate

Alternating exposed aggregate path.  Garden beds also break up the space. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.


Alternating decorative finish path

Alternating coloured path with centre native garden. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.


Entrance and Alternating decorative finish concrete path

Building entrance and Alternating exposed coloured path. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.


Concrete block garden retaining wall with coping next to the decorative finish concrete path.

Concrete block garden retaining wall with coping next to the alternating exposed coloured path. Sunbury Global Learning Centre. Hanson Bruthen and Hanson Galaxy.


Alternating colours of the concrete decorative finish entrance way.

The decorative finish of the alternating decorative finish of the entranceway looks striking when compared to the old concrete footpath in the foreground. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.

Frequently asked questions about Exposed Aggregate Concrete

Is Exposed aggregate concrete expensive?

Exposed aggregate will be more expensive than normal concrete solutions. It will  however, add more value and landscaping interest to your property. There is also extra labour in exposing the aggregate. Alternating colours is  also great way to break up the large expanses of concrete. It will similarly add to the cost, but will add great value to your property.

Should you seal Exposed Aggregate Concrete?

Sealing is essential for these paths. The high quality sealer we use helps to maintain the appearance of the coloured concrete by preventing stains getting into the pores of the concrete. The sealer also helps to prevent dust coming off the concrete.

Newly sealed paths at Balwyn Community Centre



Is Exposed Aggregate Concrete Durable?

It is important not to exposed too much of the aggregate during the water pressure cleaning part of the process. This is because exposing the aggregate excessively will result in it breaking loose from the matrix. Do not expose them more than 30%. The concrete we use for pathways is N25 with SL72 reinforcement over a thick layer of roadbase.

Residential Concreting Solutions

For residential concreting solutions a smaller version of the commercial landscaping concepts can be applied. In some cases it will be necessary to cart the aggregate mix in by wheelbarrow.

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Melbourne

Concrete Designs, textures and colours

Outwest Concrete have a great range of  aggregate colours available.

Colours and Textures available.


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