Experienced garden and swimming pool designers are now able to pretty much deal with most kinds of terrain and if you have your heart set on an outdoor pool then taking an organic approach is often the most successful way of introducing a pool into a natural setting. Interestingly, some of the most striking outdoor pools blend seamlessly with the surroundings, and the natural swimming pool is an idea that is being adopted by luxury hotels and adventurous homeowners worldwide.
Michael Littlewood of EcoDesign Scape explains “The initial concept was conceived in Austria more than 20 years ago, the natural pool is an inspiring and healthier alternative to a conventional swimming pool and a beautiful addition to a garden – even in winter. It stays clean without any chemical treatment, its natural cleaning system mimicking the regeneration process of a healthy lake. The result is a serene swimming environment which is also a working aquatic garden. This seamless blending of environments makes a natural pool unique; being surrounded by plants as you swim creates a very special kind of mood. A typical private pool is a minimum of 50 square metres and features one body of water separated into two zones, one for swimming and one for cleaning. The regeneration zone, in which all the biological cleaning takes place, contains marsh and water plants in a bed of gravel, minerals and loamy sand. The plants create a habitat for the micro-organisms which keep the water clean and break down potential pollutants, while the gravel bed acts as a natural filter.
During the summer months the water temperature is usually a few degrees warmer than in a conventional pool. This benefits wildlife as well as people, and amphibians arrive to enjoy the warm water in the shallow regeneration zone. Dragonflies and other pond creatures add to the diversity, and the whole area becomes a very valuable habitat, especially for endangered species.”
I love natural pools and try and encourage people to consider this option when planning a Tuscan garden, for more inspiration check out.