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    What To Plant Around A Swimming Pool

    Now that your sparkling new swimming pool is fully installed, your next priority is a natural one: swimming pool landscaping. You definitely want to make an effort to help your pool blend into its surroundings, allowing it to become a pivotal part of a much larger whole. A lot of success in this area will come down to what you choose to plant around your swimming pool. You'll want plants that will thrive and maybe even offer you some shade on those hot summer days of the year, while also being low maintenance. When it comes to this particular goal, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

    Planting Around a Swimming Pool: Tips and Tricks

    The team at Albatross Pools are experts at designing & building  innovative swimming pools. We are not landscape designers. That being said, our founder way back in 1969 was a keen gardener, and his backyard show garden was impressive enough to have featured on Burke’s Backyard. Since then we have garnered a wealth of experience when it comes to plant knowledge and often offer our experience in guiding clients in the right direction. Our two pool display centres (which happen to be Australia’s oldest) are fully landscaped, and we have learnt from experience what works, and doesn’t work, with regards to pool landscaping over the years.

    Our preferred landscape designer, Anthony Scott from Anthony Scott Landscape Design, offers this advice:

    Creating the perfect poolscape is all about finding the balance between functional space, the right furniture and of course plant life.

    Pool Friendly Plants

    According to the Swimming Pool and Spa Association, a plant must have a few key characteristics if it can be officially classified as "pool friendly." They should be able to thrive in an environment where wind and salt exposure are expected, for example. They should also be capable of thriving in either a semi-shaded area or a full sun area, the specifics of which will obviously vary depending on your environment.

    They should also be highly tolerant to exposure to chlorine and other pool chemicals, which is particularly common in the area immediately surrounding your pool. Because of this, options like pineapple sage, peach leaved bellflower, swamp daisy and Ajuga are the way to go.

    Shrubs can also make a great addition to your swimming pool landscaping, with options like Siberian Iris, Mexican Orange Blossom and Mexican Mock Orange being popular selections all across the country.

    These are certainly not your only options, however. A few of the other types of plants that you can include in your swimming pool landscaping include but are not limited to ones like:

    • Bull Banksia
    • Blueberry Ash
    • Native Fuchsia
    • Holly Leaved Grevillea
    • Waxflower
    • Australe Storksbill
    • Himalayan Dogwood
    • Prostrate Grevillea

    Native Plants Pool-friendly

    Pool friendly plants share common characteristics such as low maintenance, little or no pruning, and high drought tolerance. If you have a salt chlorinated pool they need to be salt tolerant in case of water splashing. Depending on the location of the pool, you plant choice may be dictated by the environment in terms of privacy, wind factor, or ground coverage.

    Senecio Serpens - Blue Chalk Sticks

    For screening: If privacy is a concern, consider the following to create a natural, low maintenance screen that will mature over the years. Laurus nobilus-Bay Laurel, Olea Europa- Olive tree and Banksia marginata- Coastal Banksia.

    For mid-level planting: Consider Gardenia species, Westringea fruiticosa-Coastal rosemary, Rosemarinus officianalis-Rosemary, Cycas revoluta-Cycad and Philodendron 'Xanadu'.

    For ground cover: Consider Trachylospermum asiaticum-Star jasmine, Ophiopogon japonicus-Mondo grass, Dichondra 'Silver Falls'-Silver dichondra, Senecio serpens-Blue chalk sticks and Nepeta species-Catmint.


    Plants To Avoid

    No matter whether it is a plunge pool or a lap pool, an Albatross swimming pool requires little maintenance. Unless you require maintenance in your life, it is recommended you avoid plants that shed regularly. Deciduous plants are still okay, as they only require one large clean up session per year, whereas evergreens will require year round maintenance. The key to planting success is to select plants that don’t require regular pruning, or those that don’t shed berries or needles. You'll also want to avoid anything that will drop leaf litter onto your pool or the surrounding area, meaning that anything that hangs overhead just won't do.

    Along the same lines, there are a number of plants that you'll want to avoid as they have a potential to damage your pool surrounds via their root systems. Bamboo is one of these species, according to the Swimming Pool and Spa Association. Umbrella trees and rubber trees should also be on your "under no circumstances" list, as they very commonly cause problems with pools in particular due to things like underground plumbing and paving.

    Your new Albatross swimming pool should be an inviting, family friendly environment; therefore it is unwise to plant anything spiky. These plants are often spiky as a natural defense meaning you will need to keep your distance. Pool users won’t appreciate dodging spikes on their way to the water and likewise it will make pool maintenance that much harder for yourself.

    The function of the pool will dictate what can and can’t be planted with a view to maintenance and user friendliness. The above list of plants is a comprehensive, but by no means exhaustive, list of plants that experience has shown us are good or bad options to use in your pool landscaping. Consultation with a professional pool designer or landscaper will ensure the creation of an accurate planting design suitable for your individual pool project.

    If you're looking for the best pool builders in Melbourne, you've come to the right place. Contact Albatross Pools today for more information about swimming pool installation, swimming pool landscaping and so much more.


    Inground Pools Designed to Make A Real Statement

    They really can create quite an impression. Inground pools can be bold in design, aesthetically pleasing and incredibly functional. Ultimately the swimming pool design you choose should be based on your needs and purpose. For instance, if you intend to use your new pool for lazing and leisure (with a little exercise thrown in for good measure!) a kidney shaped pool will probably be the best choice. If swimming laps and a dedicated exercise regime is more your thing, then a rectangular Olympic pool is our recommendation.

    Inground Pool Design
    Inground Pool Design

    There are so many exciting and dramatic design options for inground pools. Here are just a few that will get you thinking.

    L Shaped Pools: An L shaped pool consists of two rectangular pools, joined at a right angle. This allows for a clear definition of the deep and the shallow end of the pool.

    Kidney Shaped Pools: Kidney shaped inground pools are actually oval pools, but with an indented side. These pools are extremely popular with homeowners as they fit easily into nearly any backyard shape and make allowances for a fantastic entertainment space.

    Wading area pool: If you would like a pool with a casual entry area we recommend designing your pool with a very large wading area. This would offer you a shallow zone which is great for sunbathing and a safety zone for kids and the elderly where the water is naturally warmer. This option is a great alternative to those thinking of building a pool with a ‘beach entry’ which can be prone to algae due to poor water circulation. With our wading area design you can incorporate a large area for a comfort seat before stepping down into the main swimming area of the pool.

    Roman End Pools: these are classical pools with generous proportions. They usually have curved edges and one end of the pool typically has steps leading down into the pool.

    Olympic Pools: one of the more traditional style pools available, these are oversized pools in a typically rectangular shape. These pools are mainly for anyone that enjoys exercise or loves sport.

    Another factor to take into consideration when designing your inground pool is maintenance. When your pool is well maintained it can enhance the appearance of your home. However, if neglected, it could easily become a bit of any eyesore, as well as a place where bugs call home. When planning your pool, you’ll need to realize that you will need to keep up with the necessary maintenance. The other consideration is when installing your pool, size up the outdoor area. The kind of ingound pool that you install depends on how much space you have available and the dimensions of the space. Some inground pools require a lot, others not so much.

    If you’re looking to make a real statement with your inground pool, we can show you how to achieve it at Albatross Pools. Our pool display centres have some superb examples on show that will give you plenty of inspirational ideas. Just come in and have a look around and talk to our friendly staff and they’ll provide you with all the information you need on how to go about installing the perfect inground pool.


    A Small Pool Can Still Make An Impressive Statement

    It doesn’t have to be grand to impress. Sometimes pools of the large variety can visually overtake the surrounds. And then there’s the cost factor. If you think about it, and of course it depends on the space available, a courtyard pool can be just as impressive, even more so when you surround it with tasteful landscaping and special design features.

    Courtyard Pool
    Courtyard Pool

    Let’s face it; the outdoor garden space is becoming smaller, which means there’s less space to put in a conventional swimming pool. That’s why the team at Albatross Pools has created The Courtyard Series. With this pool series there’s a real emphasis on aesthetics, practicality and costs. The Courtyard Series can work as a beautiful, tranquil feature as well as a great centre point for entertainment. And cost? Well it can be reduced. The simple thing is that the courtyard pools are extremely easy to maintain and heat all year round, so naturally your costs come down.

    Now with an outdoor space, naturally everything varies. There’s also the functionality and the look of the pool to consider. Albatross Pools have that part of the equation totally covered. They have three unique pools that are specifically designed to work within the parameters of confined outdoor spaces. So they’ve cleverly designed The Petite, The Classic and The Grande, all made of pre-engineered steel. They’re rectangular in shape, range in size and feature a wrap-around purpose built comfort seat in the shallows. A range of seat designs are available along with a fantastic collection of colours. They also include some excellent options like CleanAssist, Ionic Fresh Water Purification, Swim Jets, heating systems and a whole lot more.

    Now with The Courtyard Series, there are some really special features. They all have energy efficient pool pumps that are complete with a water efficient cartridge filter. Your filtration costs can be reduced even further if you choose to upgrade your standard pool pump to an eight star energy efficient variable speed pump. Quiet operation enables off-peak filtration and the three speed setting delivers optimal flow rates for your pool.

    Due to the compact nature of The Courtyard Series, together with significant advancements in pool equipment, they require very little maintenance which gives you one less thing to worry about. However if you require a virtually free maintenance option, Albatross Pools have developed CleanAssist which have two dirt removing base drains together with a series of strategically placed jets designed to sweep the pool floor.

    Here’s a good idea. If you’re looking to improve your health and fitness, you could install a swim jet system. Quiet in operation, it delivers adjustable smooth water flow which allows you to set your own pace and swim great lengths. For effective efficient operation, a minimum pool length of 4.5m is ideal. And that’s The Classique and The Grande.

    Small pools can be a brilliant addition. If you want to know more of how perfect they can be for your home, speak to our friendly Albatross Pools team. We’ll give you the best advice in the business.


    Be in the Swim All Year Round With an Indoor Pool

    What a luxury this is. Being able to take the plunge any time, all year round. Just think. You can turn a ninety day swim season into a 365 day pool party. Any type of pool – concrete, fiberglass or pre-engineered can be constructed indoors and the installations can be as simple as a lap pool or something more elaborate. Some people like to add something more. Like changing rooms, showers, exercise facilities, steam rooms, saunas, wet bars and other amenities to their indoor pool installation to create a health spa atmosphere. When you look at it, the possibilities with an indoor pool are only limited by imagination and budget.

    Indoor Swimming Pool
    Indoor Swimming Pool

    The best time to plan for an indoor pool is during the design and construction of a new house. However with the right help, it is possible to seamlessly add an indoor pool to an existing home. Either way you need an expert to guide you through the whole process. The main difference between an outdoor and an indoor pool is the pool deck. An indoor pool is designed with a slope towards the pool to keep water away from walls.

    When it comes to indoor pool ventilation, it’s important to get it right. The humidity level should be maintained at 50 to 60 percent, either by exchanging humid air for fresh, drier air, or by installing a dehumidification system. Any system should be designed to make sure that air is not forced across the pool surface which can speed up evaporation. The air should be evenly distributed over the outside walls to prevent condensation. To reduce evaporation and improve better comfort, the air temperature inside the enclosure should be kept two to four degrees above the water pool temperature.

    As for the pool water, when using chlorination it can be very pronounced and tricky to get the right balance. A much easier solution is to use an ionic fresh water system.

    Windows, skylights and sliding doors are a brilliant way to create a feeling of openness. It’s a good idea to have skylights or high windows that open to let hot air escape. With lots of sliding glass doors you have the delightful opportunity to treat your indoor pool like an outdoor pool in summer. Another option is to contain your pool within a retractable pool enclosure. These telescopic ‘domes’ are built around your outdoor pool and can offer protection during inclement weather or be fully retracted to leave your pool open on warm days.

    At night you naturally need indoor lighting to provide sufficient and highly attractive illumination. The lighting should be subtle – just enough to create the perfect ambiance. And here’s a tip; avoid overhead lights. The bulbs are just too difficult to access when they need changing. Best to consider using fiber optic cable fixtures which use remote illuminators that are easily accessible.

    As with the construction of an outdoor inground pool, council fencing regulations must be adhered to when designing an indoor pool. This can create some unforeseen challenges due to the pool being contained as part of a structure. We recommend consulting your State regulatory body to clarify pool fencing regulations in your area as the issue may not be as straightforward as it seems.

    If you want to know more about the ins and outs of an indoor pool, come and talk to us Albatross Pools. We’ll show you the best way to go about installing one.


    The Courtyard Around Your Pool Should Be a Special Invitation

    It’s such a welcoming sign and makes a real statement the moment anyone walks into the space. It’s a garden living area that comes closest to being another outdoor room. An elegant space that can provide either a great entertainment area or a real sense of privacy.

    Pool Design Courtyard
    Pool Design Courtyard

    If you have an existing space, there’s a lot you can do to create a special atmospheric mood around your pool. So when you are planning to add a courtyard, think about how it is orientated to the sun and how you will enter and exit from the house and the garden. The more entries you have, the more likely you are to use the space.

    When you are working out the type of paving you need make sure no matter the material used, that it drains away from the house. Also consider ways to provide a partial canopy by extending the rafters of the roof over the new courtyard.

    If your home is already built, plan a courtyard when adding onto the house. This may not add as much to the project as you might think. For example when adding a study, an extra bedroom or even an attached garage, you can add the same structure 15 or 20 ft from the house.

    A defining characteristic of a courtyard is having the space feel as though it has four “solid” walls. A vine covered trellis or hedge may close in a small space without making it claustrophobic. If you’re looking to add an even greater sense of closure, an open roof or canopy would be ideal. Whatever structure you choose, definitely allow an abundance of light to enter the courtyard so it always creates that wonderful sense of welcoming.

    In regards to design, you definitely have control over scale. The total absence of a roof makes the space feel a lot bigger than it actually is. A grouping of tables and chairs on an open patio may certainly look cramped in a walled courtyard, so keep the space uncluttered and roomy. Scale also comes into play when selecting plants. In terms of design and horticulture, it works better to have fewer and larger pots than many little pots that can dry out quickly and blow away when ever there’s a strong breeze.

    The ideal picture for a courtyard is having a view into it, rather than out of it. When you design your courtyard, take a look at views from windows, including those overhead and doors that enter the courtyard. If you have an attractive view from the courtyard, a clever idea would be to consider cutting a window in a wall of the courtyard to frame it.

    If you need some real assistance in deciding how a courtyard will fit into your pool plans, come and talk to us at Albatross Pools. We can give you tips and all the advice you need. We even have a special range of Courtyard Pools for those confined spaces. You can choose from The Petite 4m x 2m, The Classique, 5m x 2.5m, or The Grande, 5.5m x 2.75m.


    Pool Houses

    From a basic pergola to a fully equipped pool house with kitchen and enclosure

    It feels like summer because all of a sudden the heat is on. You take the pool plunge, do a few laps and cool down. Or, it’s party time and everything is in full swing. You look around and realize you don’t have enough protection or amenities around the pool to make it the perfect place to be.

    This is where a pergola or a fully equipped pool house, will solve all your problems. Instantly you’ve got shade happening. You’ve got the barbie sizzling. The bar is crowded and the music is cranked up. Something smells great from the kitchen. Now you’ve got not just a pool, but a real entertainment venue.

    To make it all happen, here are a few tips. If you’re designing a pool house, pay close attention to the building codes. Make sure that it’s the prescribed distance away from the pool. And with the look of your pool house, it’s a good idea to aesthetically follow your home’s architecture. Don’t design it so it looks totally out of place. Give it style, lines and proportions that have some synergy with those of the main house.

    Swimming Pool House
    Swimming Pool House

    If you’re looking at a pergola, make sure that if it is in the ‘pool zone’ (inside the pool fenced area), there can be no doors on the pergola due to fencing regulations. Essentially the pergola will need to have four posts and a roof and that’s it. With your pool house, keep your options open; plan for both open air and indoor shelter. Wide overhangs allow you and the rest of your party to enjoy fresh air while staying out of the sun, and if rain intervenes, you’ve got an enclosed interior space.

    Speaking of which, the inside of your pool house should be well fitted out so guests don’t have to keep traipsing back and forward through your house. Stock it with a mini fridge, snacks, dishware and extra towels. Also if your budget allows, add a small bathroom area with toilet, sink and shower so guests can rinse off as they get out of the water.

    In the pool house, it’s a good idea to build ample storage because pool gear can be an unsightly mess. Layer in shelving, cabinets and benches to keep your pool house free of clutter and allow plenty of space for entertaining. Fit out your pool house with comfortable seating, cocktail and coffee tables. If you’ve got a bar, all the merrier and don’t forget the electronics. There’s nothing quite like a great sound system, plasma TV, dimmer controlled lighting and Wi-Fi to make parties in your pool house something to remember.

    So now you’re thinking, how do I make all this come together? Well, you can come and see us at Albatross Pools and talk to our team. We’ve got some really great ideas on how a pergola or a pool house can totally transform your pool area.


    Five Ways to Match the Pool to the Landscape Design

    You’re thinking about adding a pool to your property. Maybe you’ve already got a well designed backyard, maybe it’s mostly grass and maybe you’ve done a little gardening and DIY landscaping. If you haven’t already, now is the time to nail down your landscape design. Your pool needs to be a component of that design, so it’s important that you know how you want your outdoor living space to look and feel before you make major decisions about your pool’s size, shape and surrounds. Coordinating the pool design and the landscape design can make a huge difference in how the pool looks, how pleasant it is to use and how much it enhances the value of your home.

    Playboy Mansion Grotto
    Playboy Mansion Grotto

    1. The location of the pool

    Not everyone has the luxury of choosing between separate pool locations, but everyone needs to think about the pool’s size and general placement and how it will synch with the landscape design. Picture your landscape design as a whole. Where will the pool entry or entries be, and where are the important observation points? How will the pool location work with other landscape elements such as alfresco, gardens, cooking areas and garden furniture? How will the design affect circulation and activities when your family is outside? How will things work when you have guests or are throwing a party?

    2. The shape of the pool

    If you have a very natural-looking outdoor space with curved retaining walls and garden beds, then you might want a curvy, natural-looking pool. A plain pool in a round, oval or rectangular shape can be a calm and beautiful focus for a more structured, formal garden. On the other hand, if your property is dominated by hard landscaping—patio stones or pavement—then the pool will definitely be a formal design element. You’ll want to study various shapes in plan view and think hard about how they will look from different angles and vantage points. This kind of modern landscape design can be very striking and sculptural.

    3. The pool surrounds

    Have you thought about what to put around the edges of the pool? Most people like to have a hard surface surrounding at least part of the pool so that they can relax and lay out in the sun. A pool surrounded by greenery looks fantastic, but it can be a challenge to keep the pool clean if it’s adjacent to soil and plants. Think about your options: poured concrete, paving stones, tiles, a wooden deck… each one has its own character and its practical advantages and disadvantages. Which fits best with your overall plan for the area around the pool?

    4. The pool fencing

    You probably already know that in Victoria, pool fencing is required by law. About...Swimming pools, spas and their safety barriers, a Building Commission publication, can give you more details. There are rules about the height, design and access that need to be followed. On the other hand, there’s still room for creativity. The pool fencing can be made of anything from toughened glass to white picket fencing. Wrought iron is a popular choice, too. Many pool owners choose to construct a wall or use a high wooden fence where the edge of their property is near the edge of the pool. Walls, in particular, have a great deal of design potential; water features are easy to add on.

    5. The pool interior colour

    Deeper water is darker blue, and every pool interior will appear darker in a deeper pool. Light pool interior colours reflect more light and heat, making the pool cooler, while dark colours absorb it, making for a warmer pool. In general, the colour of the pool interior you should choose, like the shape of the pool, depends on your overall landscape design. A light pool interior will give your pool more of a cool, classical Mediterranean look. A darker interior is more modern looking. It will mask variations in the depth of the water and give the pool more visual punch.

    The shape, the location, the colour, the pool surrounds, the pool fencing… they all need to compliment the total outdoor space. Every pool needs the right kind of landscaping to help it blend into its surroundings and become a pleasing part of a cohesive design. Before finalising your plans for the pool, make sure that you know your landscape design.


    Pool Landscaping Inspiration: Malta’s Blue Lagoon

    This is a latest in a series of posts on beautiful natural pools that can serve as inspirations for your landscape and pool design. So far, we’ve posted on Wufengchi Waterfall and Aruba’s Natural Pool. This time, it’s Malta’s Crystal Lagoon. One of our team recently had an opportunity to visit there and was struck by the interesting landscape around the Crystal Lagoon, as well as its beauty.


    Malta is a country made up of three relatively small, mountainous Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily. It is only 316 km in area, but it’s packed with history and beautiful scenery. Malta has ruined temples from 400 B.C. and stunning medieval and Renaissance cities. It was ruled by the Greeks, the Romans, and the Byzantines, and it has intact historical sites from all those periods. The Knights of St. John, or Knights Templar, controlled it for almost 300 years and most recently, it was part of the British empire. Malta has had its independence since 1964 and today, it’s an independent member of the EU. English is still one of the official languages, making it a very comfortable part of Southern Europe for English speakers to visit.

    Malta’s Crystal Lagoon

    Most of Malta is densely populated and urban, and it’s not necessarily the best place for a beach-oriented holiday. The main island and Goza, which is smaller, both have a few fairly nice public beaches, but the best place to go swimming is off the small island of Comino, which is in between the two larger islands.

    Blue Lagoon Malta
    Blue Lagoon Malta

    Every day, dozens of small tour boats take tourists and locals to the Crystal Lagoon on the shore of Comino. The Mediterranean Sea around Malta is a deep, intense azure. When the Crystal Lagoon comes into sight, one of the most striking things about it is its cyan-coloured water — it actually looks like a swimming pool! It’s surrounded by rock ledges and sea caves, and hiking around the Crystal Lagoon is almost as fun as swimming in it. However, there are only a few small sand beaches; for the most part, it’s surrounded by a rocky shoreline.

    Design Inspiration From the Crystal Lagoon

    Since there’s so little beach space, the best thing to do is to leave a towel somewhere and jump in! In fact, many people simply swim from the sides of the boats. The water is relatively shallow, but it’s still above head height in the middle of the lagoon. One fun thing to do is to swim from one of the easily accessible beaches to a beach on the other side of the lagoon that can’t be reached over land, as it’s on a separate, small island. Then, you’re on a much less crowded beach in an area that you can explore a little once you’re out of the water.

    Small Sand Beaches
    Small Sand Beaches

    How can ideas from the Crystal Lagoon be incorporated into a swimming pool? Well, the colour of the water can surely be imitated with a light blue swimming pool interior. Landscaping with rocks and boulders around the edge of the pool would give a similar effect to the Blue Lagoon’s rocky shoreline. However, one really original idea would be to create a spot for sunbathing and socialising that can only easily be reached from the pool. This could be done using the edges of the garden — fences or hedges — as barriers, or by using other types of landscaping, like walls and rocks. Limiting the areas where the pool can easily be entered and exited to an area near the back of the house and another, more secluded, area would create a ‘private beach’ that’s only available to swimmers. Both pool access points could be equipped with stairs or beach-style entries.

    We don’t know of anyone who has tried a design like this, but wouldn’t it be fun to have a special, nicely landscaped area for the people who are willing to put on their swimsuits and jump in? It’s an interesting design idea inspired by the small, secluded sand beaches around Malta’s Blue Lagoon.


    Pool Landscaping Inspiration: Aruba’s Natural Pool

    In the past few months, we’ve occasionally been posting design inspiration for our friends and customers. After all, even when a pool is a good value, it’s still a major investment. It’s worth it to make the most not only of the pool itself, but the opportunity to turn your garden into a really beautiful and unique place to cool down and unwind. One way to do that is with an outstanding landscape design that incorporates your pool and the space around it.

    Aruba's Natural Pool
    Aruba's Natural Pool

    Of course, nature is one of the best places to look for inspiration. We’ve been exploring real-world natural beaches, waterfalls and pools, and one of the most lovely we’ve found is Aruba’s Natural Pool. This secluded spot isn’t just an amazing place to take a swim, it also has a look that can pretty easily be used as an inspiration for a garden design. You can view a large set of inspiring visitor photos on Trip Advisor’s Natural Pool Page.

    Aruba’s Natural Pool: A Hidden Gem

    The Natural Pool is located in Arikok National Park and it’s well known as a great place for snorkelling; many unusual fish species can be found there. When the tide is coming in, water crashes over the rocks and creates a great show for visitors. However, when the water is calm, it’s a wonderful place for a dip. Everyone who’s had a chance to visit the Natural Pool says that one of the best parts of the experience is the journey through Aruba’s outback and the dramatic reveal when the pool is finally in sight. Visitors move from a dusty, rocky landscape to a beautiful place for swimming, protected by stone at the edge of the open water. It creates a sense of awe and wonder.

    Pool Ideas Inspired by Aruba’s Natural Pool

    You probably won’t be putting fish into your private pool, so snorkelling and colourful sea life won’t be the focus. The things to think about in using the Natural Pool for inspiration are the use of rock, the use of falling water and the element of surprise.

    Surround all or part of your pool with natural boulders (with enough room around the edges to ensure safety, of course). If you’re thinking about incorporating a spa, you could place it at one side, edged by natural rock, and place a waterfall next to it, creating the illusion that you have two natural pools nestled into a rocky landscape. Another strategy would be to build up a stone wall on one side and install a waterfall there. This would work especially well on a sloped piece of property; the stone wall might double as a retaining wall, and the look would be absolutely fantastic. The waterfall could be either gradual or direct.

    Consider creating a dramatic reveal for your pool. One strategy is to place the pool in a slightly elevated position relative to the ground floor of your house, with boulders blocking the views from some directions. Don’t forget leave a few critical sight lines open, though, especially if you have kids. Consider creating an especially dramatic approach for guests. Of course, a pool like this would be absolutely incredible on a piece of oceanfront property, where it could be made to resemble a natural stone formation on the edge of the water.

    Remember, an Albatross Pool can be any size and shape, so you have many options to work with. A good landscape designer or landscape architect can work with the pool experts at Albatross to help you make your vision real, whatever the inspiration.


    Pool Landscaping Inspiration: Wufengchi Waterfall

    The Wufengcho, or “Five Mountain Flags” Waterfall is a famous scenic spot in Taiwan. It was named after the five mountains that can be seen behind it, and it’s located in the Jiaosi region. The Wufengcho waterfall has multiple, overlapping sheets of falling water and a lush, green backdrop. It really is a unique, wild and beautiful place and it’s got a look that you can tap into in several ways when you design your pool and the landscaping around it.


    The Layering

    When you look at a photo of the Wufengcho Waterfall, the pure beauty of the spot is riveting, but if you begin to break the appearance of this gorgeous waterfall into its components, the layering of the sheets of water is the first thing you notice. The main height of the Wufengcho consists of a long, thin stream of water from high up over a shorter, broader stream of water. This is a look that you can recreate in a waterfall pool feature by installing a standard water feature at the pool’s edge and directing another stream of water from a landscape feature above the pool to a spot slightly in front of it.

    The Backdrop

    The two-layered waterfall you create that way can easily be made to resemble the Wufengcho in another sense, as well. It can mimic the waterfall’s impressive backdrop, which consists of stratified stone in the lower part of the falls and moss and greenery above. The side of the pool, which will form the visual background for the lower water feature, will be simple, like the stone behind the Wufengcho’s lower falls. Perhaps the lower water feature can even emerge from a low stone wall next to the pool. Then, a higher landscaped wall can rise above it, perhaps with a green tile pattern on the side, decorated with ferns and other plants that love to grow horizontally. The lip of the upper waterfall can add a second stream of falling water in front of the lower falls. Obviously, this idea needs a good landscape designer to work out the details, but it’s got potential!


    The Park Architecture

    The Wufengcho is located in Taiwan, and the park around it, including the observation deck and the adjacent wooden canopy, are designed in traditional Chinese style. The strong, curved lines of the canopy roof and the ornate carved decoration in the rails around the support posts are both striking. Opting for a Chinese-style or Chinese inspired canopy or cabana is one way to bring this beautiful architectural style into your garden. You could also integrate old-fashioned Chinese style statuary or an outdoor cooking area that takes its inspiration from traditional Chinese design into your garden.

    We haven’t seen a pool with a water feature based on the Wufengcho yet, but we’re ready to help build one. This waterfall would make a fantastic inspiration for a pool and landscape design, especially in a garden that has a natural slope. Why not take inspiration from nature’s most magnificent creations?

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