Before & After

New design for an old swimming pool area


Do you have an underutilised swimming pool that takes up valuable space and requires ongoing maintenance? Would you like to remove the pool and transform the remaining are into a special part of your garden? Then I invite you to read on......



Removal of a swimming pool left an empty space in this garden, waiting for development into something new and fresh. The area could simply become an extension of the existing lawn, maybe surrounded by planting next to the fence. Alternatively, it could be converted into a space with a specific purpose, such as a vegetable garden, an additional seating area, or a children's play corner.




This drawing shows the transformation of the area into an ornamental garden with a small bench for quiet reflection.

The garden is colour-coordinated in shades of blue combined with light green. Blue ceramic pots with Lomandra 'Tanika' are positioned asymmetrically relative to the bench, to prevent the scene from becoming too static. Acer palmatum dissectum 'Seiryu' is the centrepiece of the garden bed on the left. This is an elegant, small maple with finely cut, bright green leaves and lovely autumn colours. Its height is balanced by a standardised form of an evergreen plant, such as Photinia 'Red Robin' or one of the Michelia hybrids, to the right of the bench. The rest of the plantings consist of blue delphiniums, green dwarf flaxes, and Ceanothus  thyrsiflorus var. griseus 'Yankee Point' with powdery blue flowers, glossy light green leaves, turning dark green when mature. The ground is covered with lime green patches of Sedum 'Gold Mound' and deep blue perennial cornflowers, Centaurea montana.

The garden is framed by a Griselinia littoralis (kapuka, broadleaf) hedge that hides the fence and the garden shed on the left. This structural outer frame is reinforced by an adjacent Buxus sempervirens (English box) hedge. The space on the right is too narrow for a hedge with additional planting, but the outer frame could be continued here with a climber, such as Trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine), or, to fit in with the blue theme, Plumbago auriculata (Cape leadwort). The latter requires more training and pruning than Trachelospermum jasminoides, and prefers a sunny position with frost protection when young.

The existing grey pavers are used as a linking element between new and old by repeating the same pavers in the re-developed space.