Help permies get a
new server
by contributing to the fundraiser
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • r ranson
  • Jay Angler
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Leigh Tate
  • paul wheaton
  • Nicole Alderman
master gardeners:
  • Timothy Norton
  • Christopher Weeks
  • Saana Jalimauchi
  • Jeremy VanGelder
  • Ulla Bisgaard
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


Do you dream of a pond you can call your own but but the cost, hassle, and skills needed for all the filters and water chemistry seem overwhelming? Building Natural Ponds shows us that we don't have to have a complicated system of pumps and filters and constant monitoring and tweaking of water chemistry just to have a beautiful natural pond.  In the book you'll see how with a little planning and a lot of help from nature (think plants) you can have a stunning pond that doesn't need constant monitoring and adjusting or regular changes of a filter system.

From the author's website: "Typical backyard ponds are a complicated mess of pipes, pumps, filters, and nasty chemicals designed to adjust pH and keep algae at bay. Hardly the bucolic, natural ecosystem beloved by dragonflies, frogs, and songbirds.

The antidote is a natural pond, free of hassle, cost, and complexity and designed as a fully functional ecosystem, ideal for biodiversity, swimming, irrigation, and quiet contemplation.

Building Natural Ponds is the first step-by-step guide to designing and building natural ponds that use no pumps, filters, chemicals, or electricity and mimic native ponds in both aesthetics and functionality. Highly illustrated with how-to drawings and photographs, coverage include
 -  Understanding pond ecosystems and natural algae control
 -  Planning, design, siting, and pond aesthetics
 -  Step-by-step guidance for construction, plants and fish, and maintenance and trouble shooting
 -  Scaling up to large ponds, pools, bogs, and rain gardens.

Whether you’re a backyard gardener looking to add a small serene natural water feature or a homesteader with visions of a large pond for fish, swimming, and irrigation, Building Natural Ponds is the complete guide to building ponds in tune with nature, where plants, insects, and amphibians thrive in blissful serenity.

About The Author

Robert Pavlis, a Master Gardener with over 40 years of gardening experience, is owner and developer of Aspen Grove Gardens, a six-acre botanical garden featuring over 2,500 varieties of plants. A well-respected speaker and teacher, Robert has published articles in Mother Earth News, Ontario Gardening magazine, the widely read blog, which explodes common gardening myths and gardening information site source: Building Natural Ponds Website

Where To Buy:
New Society Publishers

Related Videos

Related Forums


Related Websites

Author's websites
Building Natural Ponds - author's book website
Articles by Robert Pavlis
Author's blog
Author's YouTube channel
Posts: 697
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
hugelkultur duck forest garden trees books chicken woodworking greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns.

What a refreshing book to read on creating your own natural pond.  Too many books I've read on building ponds seem to be nothing more than a bloated brochure for a pond chemicals or equipment.  With Building Natural Ponds Robert Pavlis has made the dream of having a low-maintenance pond seem much more attainable.  The book is filled with beautiful examples of functioning natural ponds to inspire and convince you that a chemical-free pond doesn't have to be a sludge filled swamp from a horror movie.  Yes there will be maintenance but by following the guidelines in this book you can reduce the maintenance to an acceptable amount.

Building Natural Ponds begins with an overview of the ecological concepts related to ponds and why a properly built pond is a benefit to the environment around it.  I really like that Mr. Pavlis even gives a nod to permaculture here, which is rare in a lot of books out there.  The book goes from there to a few chapters regarding thing to consider during the design, planning, and building phases.  Here is where you get to dive into the fun part of dreaming of all the features you want or need and (maybe not so fun) the realities involved with making those dreams come to life.  The great thing is that these natural ponds involve a lot less in the name of complicated pumps and filtration systems and a lot more benefits to the environment around them.

The next couple of chapters deal with the specifics of plant and animal choices for a natural pond.  These are the real workhorses of the pond, what take the place of those expensive filtering systems and the expensive chemicals.  As explained in the beginning chapters, a well designed pond is a functioning ecosystem that mostly maintains itself.  The next chapter deals with what maintenance is still required to keep your natural pond in tip-top shape as well as examples of why many of the maintenance items associated with a traditional pond are not necessary with a natural pond.  The book finishes up with a couple of chapters concerning special cases such as large ponds, swimming pools, bogs, etc.

My only real complaint about this book is one that I have with many books - I really wish the whole book was in color instead of just a few pages.  I understand the choices authors and publishers have to make concerning printing full color but still, it would make the book better.  Still, I 100% recommend this book to anyone thinking about putting in a pond on their property.
Posts: 11
Location: Arkansas
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns. It is super informative on the biological processes that are occurring in a natural pond. It also goes into depth as to how to actually build a pond that will be very healthy and not need any special filtration or other means of cleaning the water. I am so glad there is a book like this out there. My only things I would have wanted is a bit about how to improve ponds that already exist and also more info on ponds without a plastic liner.

Overall, a great book. You will learn a lot.
10 Podcast Review of the book Just Enough by Azby Brown
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic