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    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?


    Pool or Extra Bedroom?

    Most families have a limited budget to work with when it comes to home improvement. Sometimes, you can’t afford to do it all at once and you need to decide between two different projects. If you have children, then maybe two of them are sharing a room and maybe they’d each like to have their own space. But, you might be thinking about getting a swimming pool for the whole family to use, too. Judging from a recent post on, a lot of Aussies are probably facing this choice. Which project gets the higher priority?

    An Extra Bedroom?

    Without a swimming pool in which to relax and enjoy life, children can be argumentative and territorial. If your house simply doesn’t have enough individual bedrooms for all your children, then sharing a room can bring this kind of dissatisfaction to the surface. Perhaps they’ve used tape to mark a line through the centre of the room. Maybe one child is neat and the other is messy, and they’re doing everything they can to annoy each other. Maybe one of them likes to keep a light on to read and the other one can only fall asleep in total darkness. You’re wondering “Should we buy a new house? Should we build an addition? Should we keep one of them in a cupboard in the garage? (just kidding)

    The fact is, sharing a room builds character. It teaches children to compromise and to consider each other’s needs and each other’s feelings. It can also provide valuable lessons in tolerance and peacekeeping. Do they really need separate rooms? Well, maybe it doesn’t have to be at the very top of your priority list, for now.

    Who needs your own bedroom, when a Pool party is just a phone call away?

    A Pool?

    A pool provides fun and relaxation to the whole family. It’s great for cooling off, blowing off steam and getting some exercise. Why waste time arguing about whose turn it is to choose the TV channel or use the video game console when the sun’s out and there’s sparkling blue water to jump into right there in the back garden? With a pool, togetherness is a virtue. You’ll have kids galore and parents, too. If you’re social and you love to be in the centre of the action, then a backyard pool is a must-have. If you think bedrooms are for sleeping and you’d like to see your kids outside, active and happy, then it’s a great investment.

    The fact is, a pool promotes health and sociability. It’s a fun way to cool off, and it makes the outdoors a lot more appealing on hot days. Kids these days spend so much time staring at screens and trying to work their way out from under piles of homework. A pool is something that can make them – and you – feel good. With a new pool, you’ll let go of stress and negative feelings and create happy family memories.

    There’s Nothing Like Asking

    Of course, Albatross Pools thinks that buying a pool should be your next major home improvement project. That’s because we sell high quality, affordable in-ground pools with durable steel structures and Aqualux membranes. We’d love to sell one to you, because that’s what we’re in business to do. We think that if you buy one, you’ll love having it.

    But, you don’t have to take our advice. Talk to your family and find out what they think the priorities should be. Pool or extra bedroom? Pool or new kitchen? Pool or home theatre? What’s going to add the most joy, fitness and friendship to your lives? Take a look at our Pool Buyer’s Guide and then give us a call. We’d be happy to provide you with an estimate so that you can set your budget and organise your priorities.


    A Small Pool For Your Garden Paradise

    Not everyone dreams of filling their entire back yard with a large swimming pool. In fact, not everyone has a big enough yard for a huge pool. If you dream of lush vegetation and bricked pathways rather than a large expanse of water, you can still have a steel pool. Because they can be built in any size and shape and because they’re durable, beautiful and a good value, they make a fantastic addition to landscape plans that aren’t sprawling or that aren’t pool-focused. Here are a few design options for small steel pools.

    A Plunge Pool

    A plunge pool is a relatively deep pool with a relatively small surface area. They’re usually only a few metres long, and they can be used for cooling off and water exercise, including swimming against an artificial current or swimming with a swim harness. Because of their small surface area, they hold heat better than larger pools. They can be a practical addition to a small yard or a beautiful part of a varied landscape plan on a larger property.

    A Wading Pool

    Wading pools are large in area relative to their depth. They’re great for small children, but they’re also fantastic for providing cooling. Because a wading pool has a large surface area, a lot of water will be evaporating from its surface, cooling its surroundings. A wading pool can be designed for kids, but it can also be integrated into a landscape plan. When the children get older, you could even add a water feature or some fish and turn it into a landscape feature.

    A Small Pool as a Landscape Feature

    Your steel pool doesn’t have to be all about swimming. It could be at the bottom of a decorative waterfall, or it could be a carp pool in a Japanese-style garden. We can build you a reflecting pool or even a pool with a fountain that will cool the surrounding air while looking absolutely lovely. A small steel pool can support a water garden, too. There’s nothing stopping you from combining features like water jets, water spouts, and natural looking or stylised waterfalls with an area for swimming, bathing or wading. Take the space you’ve decided to use for the pool and make the most of it.

    A Creative Small Pool
    A Creative Small Pool

    A Spa

    You can turn one of our small Courtyard Series Pools into a dual purpose spa by incorporating a turbo power jet system and either a gas heater or heat pump. The turbo jet system consists of spa jets and a blower; the spa jets create the massaging streams of water and the blower is what makes the big bubbles. The comfort seat that features in our Courtyard Series incorporates a unique, gently padded underlining that’s exclusive to Albatross Pools, providing a cushioned effect. Most spas feature hard moulded seats whereas our Courtyard Series features soft, comfortable seats.

    Although steel construction is an economical choice for very large pools, don’t forget that it’s also a great option for small pools. In fact, sometimes the small projects are the most interesting. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and tell us about what you have in mind. We’d be happy to answer all your questions, and we’re also happy to work with your landscape designer.


    Does a pool add value to a house?

    It comes as no surprise that ‘pool’ is the number one search term being used by buyers on when refining their search criteria (Herald Sun, August 17 2013).  Gone is the day of the humble backyard, many now consider this space as an outdoor room complete with kitchen and swimming pool.  The luxuries of gas pool heating and pool covers, delivers year round entertainment – a much desired lifestyle by many buyers in the market today.

    A swimming pool integrated in with an outdoor entertaining area is without a doubt one of the main selling features of newly built and newly renovated homes being advertised in property magazines and online today.  According to Andrew Keheler, Jellis Craig Doncaster Director, Generation X buyers typically seek out properties with a pool as they have young children and regard a pool as a source of enjoyment for many years to come (Herald Sun, August 15 2013).

    People in the world of Real Estate and Property Development suggest a pool can add anywhere from 6% to 35% come auction (Herald Sun, March 3, 2014). An amazing swimming pool can be a “carrot” to a buyer in the market according to Paul Osborne, Secret Agent, especially those in the marketplace with children aged between five to fifteen years of age (The Age, March 9 2014).

    At the end of the day, it comes down to the buyers present on auction day and how much they are willing to spend to achieve their desired lifestyle both indoors and outdoors for their family.

    To view recent pool projects and gather ideas on how you can incorporate an Albatross pool into your outdoor area, view the pool gallery. Or visit our fully landscaped swimming pool display centres open 7 days a week.

    1. Herald Sun 2013, Can I have a pool with that? Available from: [15 August 2013].
    2. The Age 2014, In the swim - the pull of a pool Available from: [9 March 2014].
    3. The Herald Sun, A house you can swim in Available from: Herald Sun - A HOUSE YOU CAN SWIM IN - [3 March 2014].

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