I recently did a room addition for and older couple the other day. When we decided on where to put it, I literally stumbled upon an old filled in swimming pool. I asked the couple why they filled in their pool and found out it was severely cracked. They were told it could not be repaired and should just be filled in and leveled off. So they hired a company to bring in fill dirt and level the yard out with a tractor. They put sod over the top and forgot about it for the next 25 years.
After we decided to work the new room addition around the old pool, I suggested using the pool as a sunken garden. They already wanted a garden in the area and the sunken garden idea appealed to them. It wasn’t long before we had drawn up a basic plan of their new sunken garden.
When we first started this project I wasn’t sure how well it would go. Since I had never thought of doing a project like this, I was a little worried at first. So I started to do some research. What I found was the idea of a sunken garden from an old swimming pool was not new and there was quite a bit of literature already on the subject.
After the basic shell of the room addition was up, we had a few laborers dig out the old pool. We found digging it out fairly easy and followed the old concrete down. Our first level was three feet down. We decided upon this depth so that the garden was deep enough to feel enclosed and secluded from the rest of the yard. In the center of the old pool we dug down a little further, roughly one foot down and made a center patio.
For plants we decided on a high shrubbery around the outer edge. We wanted the outer edge of the sunken garden to be protected with a living fence to prevent any stray wanderers to fall down into the sunken garden. We also build a path leading to a set of stairs made from pavers to lead everyone into the sunken garden.
On the first level we planted ivy along the inner wall of the old pool so that it climbed up the concrete and disguised the old pool wall. We also planted a few rose bushes and smaller flowering shrubs. In the foreground we planted lots of annual flowers and a few herbs from the homeowners existing herb garden. In the future they planned on putting in a few vegetables.
On the final level we built a small patio. Using decorative pavers as the deck we built a small circle in the center and worked our way outward to create a unique design. The homeowners put a small table and umbrella on the new patio. It soon became the afternoon meeting place for their family.
With a little digging and some inventive ideas anyone could take their old swimming pool and turn it into a gorgeous garden and patio.