Martha Stewart's tropical poolside accessory is refreshingly easy to maintain – and it cools her yard down

Stewart keeps potted palm trees next to her outdoor swimming pool – adding vibrant greenery and relief from direct sunlight

(Image credit: Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

Pool days are in full swing, and though the water itself can bring sweet relief from brutal heat, there are some natural accessories that also contribute to a cooling effect. We've seen plants used as decor around outdoor pools in different varieties, but there is one that stands out as a quintessential summer staple.

We are, of course, taking inspiration from Martha Stewart, who recently shared a photo of her gorgeous outdoor pool flanked by small potted plants and, most notably, a palm tree.

'The Mexican Fan Palm is a beautiful palm tree with shiny, deep green fronds and strong trunks that can reach 100 feet tall,' she states in the caption. 'I have several potted specimens displayed around my pool.'

Experts agree that incorporating greenery alongside a cooling swimming pool is a fantastic way to elevate the space both aesthetically and practically.

'Hot and dry summers can be a challenge in the yard, and so incorporating planting that can tolerate high heat and drought is important,' Gardens content editor at Homes & Gardens, Thom Rutter states. 'Martha Stewart's palm display is attractive and practical. Mexican fan palms, Washingtonia robusta, are some of the best Californian native planting, found growing across the Baja California Peninsula. These plants are ideal for gardeners in southern states such as Florida, Arizona, Texas, and California.'

Rutter explains that palm trees are excellent poolside companions, particularly in drier climates, as their leaves can tolerate the sun's rays.

'As Martha Stewart shows, these palms can be grown in pots, creating a structural yet verdant pot display,' he says. 'Growing alongside Martha's pool, these palms provide a tropical aesthetic that helps to elevate the space, but - from a practical point of view - these palms can handle the heat and the sun's rays, which is essential in an open and sunny yard.'

Plus, one of the best parts of palm tree care is that they can practically never get too much sun, making them very easy to maintain.

'Most – if not all – palms need full sun, and while they might tolerate some shade, these tropical plants prefer to soak up the sun,' he explains. 'As many of us contend with long, hot summers, learning how to grow a palm tree that is native to warmer regions is a practical and clever solution.'

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.