So your new pool is in, the pool safety fence and gates are looking great, and the kids are getting kitted up in their togs for a safe splash. Time for a bit of pool landscaping, then? One of the most common questions we get asked about poolside landscaping is what sort of poolside plants are most appropriate. And we’re not just talking about what looks great, what will withstand a whack from an inflatable banana, and what will survive more than a few splashes of chlorine. One major concern is which plants near pool fence and gate mechanisms will be safest for your kids and fully compliant with relevant Victorian legislation about the potential for climbing and other considerations.
As the state’s only VBA-registered pool safety inspection company, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve given plenty of advice about the most appropriate plants around pools – and the plants that aren’t appropriate at all – to proud Victorian pool owners just like you. So to help you and everyone else who may have common questions on this topic, we’ve put together a list of what we hope are the pick of those questions.
Ready for the answers? Let’s answer all the best questions about plants around pools!
1. What’s the fuss about climbing?
It’s just common sense that if you plant something that’s easily climbable for your kids, that pool safety barrier & gate won’t necessarily keep them out anymore!
So think about the area immediately surrounding your fence as a non-climbable zone that you need to pay attention to.
2. So what’s a non-climbable plant?
We’re talking here about plants with noticeable horizontal surfaces of any type – otherwise known as a hand or foot-hold that your young ones may just love to climb. If the foothold can take the weight of a child, that plant, tree, shrub, pot-plant, lattice, trellis or anything else is no good.
And a heads-up: even softer hedging may be deemed climbable by your friendly pool barrier certifier.
3. What hedges should you watch out for?
While we realise that hedging shrubs are widely regarded as some of the best plants around pools Australia wide, you really do need to watch out for how fast they will grow and how well your little ones might get a foothold.
The softer ones that you still really watch out for are the flowering Murraya, the ever-popular evergreen Lillypilly, the often towering Viburnum, and conifers and camellias.
4. So what shrubs & bushes are safe poolside plants?
As a general rule, you should be looking for hedges and bushes that will dissuade your kids from treating them like the climbing equipment at school. Unfriendly foliage that features spiky, thorny or an otherwise dense and irritating nature are generally ok, as are lower-laying plants that will simply crumble and collapse underfoot if your toddler decides to have a crack.
5. Which specific plants for around pools do you recommend?
Our safe favourite? We always recommend plants that feature foliage that is like palm fronds – because they look great, but they simply won’t hold any human being’s weight no matter how little! But to be really safe, head down to the nursery and browse the various succulents, cacti, bromeliads, and various herbaceous plants and perennial plants. What you’re looking for are varieties that will complete your landscaping vision but give your kids the very clear suggestion that climbing is a really bad idea!
Need more poolside plants advice?
Does that help? We certainly hope so! If you still need to know more, we’ll be delighted to assist. Our uniquely VBA-registered building inspectors and pool barrier experts have over 50 years of experience – from pool inspection, pool fence regulations, pool compliance certificates and a lot more so we’re full of on-the-ground experience about what works best for the safest and most attractive fully-compliant plants around pools. For friendly advice and to find out more about our services, get in touch with Pool Compliance Victoria today.