Book Endorsements

I’ve always warned gardeners that a pond, however wonderful for its contribution, will be the most maintenance-demanding aspect of the landscape. The dream is to create a balanced miniature ecosystem in which you don’t need massive pumps and filters, after all, there aren’t any such machines in a natural pond. How can that dream be realized? With nature’s help, Robert Pavlis shows us how.

—Ken Druse, award-winning author of 20 books on gardening.


I’ve never put in a pond, but after reading Robert Pavlis’ Building Natural Ponds, I am confident that I could do it. And, after reading the book, I will! The book is very thorough with guidance for every step from planning to digging to stocking with fish to planting to . . . well, everything you need to know.

—Lee Reich, PhD, author, The Pruning Book and Weedless Gardening


I love “all things water”, and was thrilled to read the most comprehensive book on designing and building natural ponds. Pavlis has provided very detailed, step-by-step instructions about all aspects of ponds for the urban dweller. He even discusses large dams, rain gardens, bog gardens, maintenance and much more. What intrigued me was ways to build ponds that did not require any pumps or filtration, and could be set up by anyone with basic skills of shaping soil, placing stone and planting. A must read for the garden enthusiast and designer.

—Dr Ross Mars, Permaculture Elder, author of The Permaculture Transition Manual and The Basics of Permaculture Design.


Build your own “golden pond” with this complete, authoritative and wonderfully illustrated guide. Robert Pavlis has a knack for making a complex, natural ecosystem seem both straightforward and accessible. Building Natural Ponds is the perfect book for anyone who wants a pond, or is eager to improve the one they already have by making it more of a healthy, functioning ecosystem without any pumps, pipes, chemicals — or algae. From small ponds to large, with a plethora of plant options and covering everything from planning and designing to construction, Building Natural Ponds covers it all. Pavlis is just the right person to lead us to some water in our backyards or on our homesteads.

—John D. Ivanko, co-author of Rural Renaissance and ECOpreneuring


There are many reasons to add a water feature to the landscape. Whether it’s a tranquil stone lined goldfish pool, or a larger pond for swimming, fishing and irrigation, a pond  can greatly increase the biodiversity  and beauty of a landscape. They can help manage storm water and  provide harvests of food and craft materials.  Building Natural Ponds  is a detailed guide to planning, designing and building ponds,  enhancing both your landscape and your life with open water.

—Darrell E. Frey, Three Sisters Farm, author of Bioshelter Market Garden and The Food Forest Handbook


As someone who has struggled with an assortment of pond challenges over the past 15 years, I can say with certainty that this is the book that every pond owner or wanna-be needs to read. It’s always wonderful to come across an author who, like me, ignored all the people who said something couldn’t be done — and he learned how to do it!

—Deborah Niemann, author of Homegrown and Handmade, Ecothrifty, and Raising Goats Naturally


Robert is right!  We are all looking to create a pond that is more natural, self-sustaining and requiring minimal care.  It offers an opportunity to grow a range of water plants in a natural setting, while also providing a habitat for frogs, birds, dragonflies and pollinators.  I love his philosophy of moving away from chemicals and energy use to more native solutions.  Through his long experience dealing with aquatics, Robert shares his wisdom in an easy-to-read and understandable manner.  I highly recommend this book to anyone considering adding water to their garden.

—Brian Minter, Horticulturalist, Gardening Entrepreneur, Co-Owner of Minter Country Garden