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Review by Charles B. Thomas

Countless water gardeners began their aquatic experiences with a fish bowl or an aquarium. Lessons learned from experience with an aquarium apply to the water garden, but with modifications and additions. Likewise, when water gardeners make the next big step up to an earth pond, many old lessons apply, but again with significant modifications and additions.

When I think of earth ponds, Tim Matson comes to mind. Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire, says, “Aside from some particularly thoughtful frogs and phragmites, no one on earth knows more about ponds than Tim Matson.” He has been designing, restoring, and building earth ponds for nearly three decades. Along the way, Tim found time to author three landmark books on his favorite professional subject. He now shares his extensive experience with earth ponds and wetland in his fourth earth pond book.

In the book, the reader learns how earth ponds “enliven your landscape, create recreational opportunities, help the environment and increase your property value.”

Landscaping Earth Ponds - The Complete Guide Chapters include:

New Ponds
Existing Ponds
The Pond at Strawberry Hill
Techniques (Shaping the Basin, Planting)
The Lornell Pond
General Techniques
Save That Tree
Planting Considerations and Techniques
Recommended Pond Plants

Two chapters (Strawberry Hill and Lornell) relate Tim’s projects from start to finish. Techniques cover vital aspects like shaping the basin, planting, siting, inflows and outflows. Helpful sketches, planning schemes, and beautiful pictures support the well-written text.

Reading this latest Tim Matson book provides the reader with essential information for anyone who owns or plans an earth pond or wetland.

160 pages, softbound. White River Junction, VT USA Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2006

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