By Mike Farley
I’m a big fan of beach entries: As I see it, they wrap at least five important design and usage issues up in one neat package.
First, they provide easy access to the pool. Second, that access is gradual, which many bathers prefer. Third, they bring a bit of visual drama to the water’s edge – and then repeat it where the slope breaks off into deeper water. Fourth, they create an easy visual bond between the decking and the pool in ways that the coping and a traditional edge never can.
There may be other reasons, too, but I’ll wrap up with a key fifth reason: These slopes are perfect for lounging in the water, whether in a chair or just soaking with your head barely cracking the water’s surface. And if you add an umbrella to the picture, I can think of no better place to relax on a hot day.
There’s just one issue with these features that I didn’t mention in the video linked below: It’s always helpful to have one or more bubblers or small jets imbedded relatively high on the slope to keep the water moving. Otherwise, like a real beach, debris and leaves will tend to wash up on the deck like some sort of bathtub ring – not the most welcome possibility.
It doesn’t take much to prevent this problem, and I like the sound a bubbler adds to most settings. But I know from this experience that it’s not enough to overcome a howling Texas wind, for which my apologies to listeners who might lose my voice to the whooshing background noise in the video.
But anyway, do think about incorporating flagstone beach entries in your projects: It’s a great look – one of my favorites – and my clients love it, too!
To see a flagstone beach entry up close, click here.
Mike Farley is a landscape designer with more than 20 years of experience and is currently a designer/project manager for Claffey Pools in Southlake, Texas. A member of Genesis 3's Society of Watershape Designers since 2012, he holds a degree in landscape architecture from Texas Tech University and has worked as a watershaper in both California and Texas.