Pool Landscape Design Ideas

Pool Landscaping IdeasIn South Florida, swimming pools are part of the landscape. While many pools are attractive in their own right, beautifying your property if you’re a pool owner is about accenting your pool – the centerpiece of your hardscape – with well-designed landscape elements.

Few things enhance the beauty of a swimming pool like an innovative landscape design. The right plants, lighting, hardscape and other accessories around your pool can be the difference between a mere watering hole and a breathtaking oasis.

Use Landscaping to Set the Stage

The right landscaping design can provide the perfect backdrop for your swimming pool. Want a tropical setting? Choose brightly colored flowers with lush greenery for a distinctly Caribbean feel. Lush palms grow well in South Florida and enhance that tropical feel. Add natural or artificial rocks as accents and to give the impression your pool is part of the natural environment. Consider adding a waterfall to introduce soothing sound and movement to your pool.

Here’s a tip: Choose plants that deter pests. Nothing spoils sunbathing like mosquitoes. Consider mosquito-repelling plants like catnip, rosemary and lemon balm.

Add Lighting to Enjoy Your Pool Day and Night

Landscape lights can turn your back yard into a serene and romantic nighttime sanctuary. Pool lighting can give your swimming pool a mesmerizing twinkle, while spotlights accentuate eye-catching flowers and landscape features. Consider versatile options like fiber optic lighting for your lighting design.

Build an Outdoor Kitchen or Bar to Add Sizzle to Your Splash

A built-in bar is the perfect way to attract guests and entertain friends. Mojitos and margaritas by the pool? This is South Florida, after all. The best back yard cooking area combines style and function. Consider how you’ll use the space, how much room you need, aesthetics and more.

Give Your Pool Character with the Right Interior Pool Finish

Your pool’s finish sets the mood. Prefer a crystal blue sparkling water? Select a light-colored pool liner to create a turquoise appeal. Want a mellower look? A dark-colored finish will give your pool a cool, relaxing tint. Ask your pool builder which finish materials and brands they work with and choose a pool finish that suits your mood.

Enjoy the Night – Install an Outdoor Fireplace

Even in South Florida, a fireplace is a perfect way to imbue your outdoor oasis with a warm, inviting ambience. You and your guests will enjoy evenings by the pool amid the crackle of firewood and the soft glow of firelight. Choose a fireplace design that reflects your yard’s style and suits your family’s needs. Whether it’s for warmth, open-air cooking, or ambience, an outdoor fireplace is an addition that will enhance your outdoor enjoyment.

Use Fencing to Enhance Safety and Privacy

A fence can help reduce the risk of children, animals and uninvited guests wandering into your pool. A good fence also creates a buffer so you can enjoy your pool in privacy. A well-designed fence also serves as a canvas against which your landscaper can design your yard.

 This post is a guest post from our friends at Hohne Pools. Gary Hohne is president of Hohne Pools, a residential and commercial pool builder specializing in inground pool installation and pool repair.

Guest Post: 8 Beautiful Flowers That Can Kill You

Our good friend Isabell Davila from flowerdelivery.net wrote this great post about dangerous flowers and allowed us to repost it here. Please check out her flower delivery website for more posts and some beautiful flowers.

Many things in nature are beautiful, yet deadly. When it comes to flowers, this can be particularly true, as some species are poisonous and even fatal to humans. Since gardening is a favorite hobby of millions worldwide, we should be very careful in choosing which flowers to beautify our surroundings, as there may be much more than meets the eye. Here are some alluring flowers that just so happen to be poisonous and can actually kill you.

  1. Aconitum Napellus (Wolf’s Bane)

    This common garden plant contains a deadly cardiac poison that was once used on the tips of spears and arrows for hunting during ancient times. Ingestion of even small amounts of aconitine, the primary toxin in the flower, results in severe gastrointestinal upset. However, what kills you is the effect it has on the heart, slowing it down until it eventually stops.

  2. Echium plantagineum (Purple Viper’s Bugloss)

    This vibrant purple flower is grown around the world and belongs to the Echium family. Unfortunately, the plants contain toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are poisonous even to large animals. One teaspoon of honey from the plant is above the recommended weekly minimum intake of these chemicals in humans and can be highly toxic in high quantities.

  3. Nerium oleander

    One of the most toxic plants in the world just so happens to have an elegant, sweet scent and appearance. Nearly every part of the plant and flower, from its stem to its sap, is extremely poisonous if ingested. The blossom is so dangerous that even the honey gathered by bees using oleander nectar is poisonous. The toxins from the Oleander flower causes an irregular heart rate in humans – causing our hearts to race, then drop to a dangerous level, until the heart stops beating altogether. Campers should be cautious when roasting food over an open fire, as there have been reports of inadvertent poisonings that result from inhaling the smoke from a burning Oleander.

  4. Castor Oil Plant

    Named the most poisonous plant in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records, just one milligram of the plant’s poison can kill a healthy adult. Its flowering seeds contain alkaloid ricin, which is more toxic than common cyanides. What’s even scarier is that this toxin has the ability to accumulate in an organism until the lethal dose is reached. Symptoms first include nausea and vomiting, then bloody diarrhea, fever, seizures, and finally a collapse resulting in death. Its seed, which is the castor bean, is known to be lethal in adults, if consumed in quantities from four to eight seeds.

  5. Daphne mezereum

    Also called lady laurel or paradise plant, every part of this beautiful plant is poisonous. The pink or purple flowers bloom in early spring before it gains it woody deciduous appearance with bright red berries. The bark, sap, and berries hold the greatest toxic concentration, including Mexerine, an acrid resin resulting in intense skin irritations, and Daphnine, a bitter glycoside. Combined, these two toxins will cause convulsions, delirium, headaches, diarrhea, and other not-so-pleasant reactions. If you ingest a berry, you could fall into a deep coma and die.

  6. Latana camara

    Widely found in the summer landscape of the tropics, beautiful yellow, orange, and pink flowers often obscure its deathly properties found in its green berries. Triterpenes, the poison found in its berries, is a precursor to steroids, which may cause muscle weakness and lead to a circulatory collapse.

  7. Atropa belladonna (Deadly nightshade)

    Though the name of the species comes from Latin, meaning a “pretty woman,” its bell-shaped violet blossoms and cherry-like fruit make it an overall attractive plant. However, when ingested, it may cause delirium and hallucinations. Fatal amounts of 10 to 20 berries or a single leaf of the plant can be deadly. Your symptoms including blurred vision, rashes, and a fast or slowed pulse, all leading up to a fatal convulsion.

  8. Rhododendron (Azaleas)

    Almost anyone is familiar with an Azalea flower; it’s one of the most popular types of flowering shrubs in the entire world. However, the nectar produced by Azalea flowers contains a grayanotoxin, known as “mad honey,” which is lethal in humans but harmless to bees. As a rule of thumb, Azaleas are nice to look at, but it’s not a good idea to chew on an Azalea flower.

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