Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden

Inspiring Garden Design: Pools in the Landscape

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In this winter 2021 series of “Inspiring Garden Design,” I’m including a topic that on its own I would not have considered–pools. But as I was scrolling through and daydreaming over past trips and sojourns, I found a pattern emerging…pools as part of an overall garden or a landscape scheme. Indeed, I had photographed them not because they were pools but that they were in service to a horticultural setting. Viewing this through a different lens, so to speak, I realized that they did belong in a post on Garden Design!

Without a doubt, the dreamiest setting for a pool that I have ever seen was a few years back during a Dallas spring. The artistry in creating a “water feature” that curved around an upper terrace ringed with daffodils was literally breathtaking. To cap off this setting, a creek runs along the wooded area of the property, complete with its own stone bridge (below and feature image above).

In California, atop a ridge overlooking the sweep of Los Angeles, an old, large oval pool captures the yesteryear’s of Hollywood, accented with tall Italian cypress. The perfect placement and a welcome view as one walks from the house to the surrounding grounds.

Following on in the Mediterranean spirit, a Palm Beach landscape was taken to another level with its pool that is just steps away from the stone lanai as well as the Inland Waterway. A lot of chic on a not large site.

In Atlanta, plantings and garden accents were given thoughtful attention as “dressing” for a statement house that is the centerpiece of the owners’ outdoor life.

Closer to home, a friend’s lap pool is on direct axis with one of his garden follies…and flows into another structure that houses both a library and a grotto. Don’t overlook the use of planted burms as a well-conceived choice to create a private setting for the pool.

Last winter in Lyford Cay, during their Design Weekend, one memorable setting took full advantage of a hill position looking across the island while at the same time affording a breathtaking view from the 2nd and 3rd floors of the home.

“Come on in, the water’s fine.”

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

13 thoughts on “Inspiring Garden Design: Pools in the Landscape

  1. Once again, Bettie, you have brightened my day with your beautiful images. Thank you!

    1. MMMmmmm, I was so fortunate that my friend was in town (I was in Dallas for a book signing) and was therefore able to snap these pics.xB

  2. Dallas would be my favorite too. The view of the house and yard from the creek looks so wooded and natural.

    1. It is even more delicious in person, making this one of my favorite blogs ever.xB

  3. I always look forward to your emails! Thank you.
    p.s. What is your delightful cat’s name?

    1. Thanks, Nancy, and our feline is named Clicquot, after the champagne…she’s just one big champagne bubble! xB

  4. Love that first wrap around water feature with the daffodils behind it. Beautiful!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Bettie:)

  5. Can you really include pools in your landscape design? I wasn’t quite sure of this, but I guess it’s a practical option by reading what was on this site. I’d love more information on this, though.

    1. These images were taken by me in private settings, but I’m sure you could Google “pools in the landscape” and gather quite a bit of information. It’s a fascinating topic!B

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