Hi There - We are wrapping up our pool project and now that the concrete decking is done, it's clear we have some more 'work' to do to make the yard-to-deck transitions more usable and more "finished" looking. The yard slopes down a fair bit so on the deep end of the pool/deck we have quite a drop off at the side as well as a gradual drop off from level to steep along the back of the deck. I was hoping to get some ideas about some reasonable options that I could do to help deal with these areas and make them more aesthetically pleasing as well as more functional if possible. One thing i've already encountered is the back/sides of the pool are a mud swamp when wet. It rained a little and if you walk back there you get mass clay/mud on the shoes that sticks like glue until you track it onto the pool deck and porch, not ideal at all. One thought I had was to do a block retaining wall along the deep end side to follow the square from the front deck (its 2' wider) towards the back to square it off and give about a 2' planter that would be deck height. I think the whole pool deck surround needs some elements to it to make it feel more finished though, not just that area. It just looks like a huge blob of concrete (because it is) in the yard. We will have a fire pit built on the deck in the front area so that will help give it a little more visual interest as well. Was also planning on putting a shower head on the side of the little well house building (now going to be pool house) so i'd need to figure out a way to make walking to it from the pool area a little better than it is right now (i.e. jump off the back side of the deck into the dirt). On my 2D layout sketches, I had drawn some stepping stones, etc, however 2D didn't capture the vast level difference between yard and pool unfortunately.
Definitely hoping to get some thoughts and opinions though.