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Natural Swimming Pools (Schiffer Design Books) [Hardcover]

Michael Littlewood
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Dec 2004 Schiffer Design Books
Natural swimming pools rely on the correct balance of living plants and micro-organisms to clean and purify the water. They are easy and less costly to maintain than chemical pools. Chlorine and other common pool chemicals that are hazardous to human health are not used. Natural pools are safe places for children to play and birds to drink, and are a dramatic example of ecological design, combining the natural and man-made worlds while creating beauty. These pools offer enjoyment not only in the warm months, but during winter, when they can be used for ice skating. Often the focal point of a garden, a natural swimming pool blends into the environment, flowing into the surroundings with plants and rocks. It reflects the changing seasons and enhances the environment naturally. This book is a necessary resource for people who consider a natural swimming pool. It shows how the natural system works to provide environmental, health, and safety benefits. Drawings, diagrams, and charts help explain their planning, design, biology, materials, construction, planting, and maintenance. Over 300 beautiful color photographs of natural pools will inspire your own water garden, where you can swim in harmony with nature.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd (US) (1 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764321838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764321832
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 22.1 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 538,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the coffee table and the design board! 8 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This is a wonderful book that would make the perfect Christmas present for any gardener, whether they want to create something of beauty in their garden or just dream about it from the comfort of their armchair. I bought one for my Dad (not from Amazon - sorry) who found it inspirational to the point of becoming almost evangelical! Whilst some aspects of the book must be seen as aspirational (especially for those with more modest gardens), the concepts and ecological principles are definitely something we should all be applying on a daily basis. If you buy this book to add some colour to your coffee table, you will not be disappointed: you get a lot of book for the price and the photographs and illustrations are beautifully presented!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars close but no cigar 19 April 2007
This book sold it-self to me on the abstract about being "A comprehensive guide to planning, constructing and maintaining...". Unfortunately it is not, but it is an interesting read with some superb images and photographs
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Badly written and presented 16 Nov 2006
As this is the only book on this fascinating subject, we have no other option than to buy it. Natural swimming pools are the way of the future and hopefully someone will write a more comprehensive book on them that we can utilise to design pools for people.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue book on an overdue topic 6 Mar 2006
By Josef E. Kucio - Published on
I have been keenly interested in the topic of natural swimming pools for about 5 years, but have been frustrated by the lack of information in English on the topic (there are several books in German - the homeland of the concept - but only a single manual in English).

Mr. Littlewood's book added substantially to my knowledge, gleaned from various websites, a handful of articles and research into conventional swimming pools, ponds and lake management.

But the book's value lies not so much in the (limited) technical information it provides as it does in thoroughly introducing the concept and presenting it beautifully. Mr. Littlewood is a distinguished landscape architect, and his book presents natural pools, in hundreds of beautiful pictures, in the context of landscaping.

But he doesn't focus solely on the aesthtic aspect. You'll also learn why these pools work so well without chemicals and concrete, making them environmentally friendly and a pleasure on the skin and eyes when you swim in them, and why they require less maintenance than conventional pools.

It's possible that some hard-headed American readers will be put off here and there by the author's environmental leaning and not-always-critical stance to the theory and practice of the natural swimming pool's Austrian and German pioneers, most of whom now offer patented systems that they are primarily interested in marketing.

But these are minor quibbles. The fact is, natural swimming pools are practical and make sense, and their pros (water quality, aesthetics, ecology, reduced maintenance, winter aesthetics/use) far outweigh their cons (greater risk of contracting water-borne illness, greater space requirements). Some 5000 have been built in Europe, including dozens (it might be up to hundreds) of public pools that satsify stringent German health requirements.

I think anyone interested in ecological or simply innovative or beautiful landscaping would enjoy this book.

But if you're interested in building a pond (especially for swimming) or a swimming pool (especially with alternative water sanitation), this book is an absolute must-have.

The author of this review is an American ex-pat who has lived in central Europe 14 years.
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly COMPREHENSIVE! 9 Feb 2007
By Pio - Published on
This large sized book covered the subject exceedingly well in lots of color photos with explanations and, more importantly, in lots of diagrams and nuts and bolts descriptions. I only read sections here and there but what I did read clearly indicated to me that you could actually use this book to build a natural swimming pool. At the least, you could definitely make a solid decision whether or not you could build or would want to build such a pool on your property. These pools are basically like salt water aquariums in that you have to make a biosphere and monitor it. In some ways it's not as easy as it sounds but also not as hard as it sounds. However, start up takes time and it can be tricky to finally reach environmental stabilization. I am not going to build a natural pool but I still found this book very useful. At the end this book are MANY pages of water plants and trees recommended for certain types of water areas. There are zone maps of the US included for reference. So even if you just want to make a little ornamental fountain in a big pot on the patio deck or a pond or a bog out back, this book has a VERY comprehensive set of plant lists you will find exceedingly useful. 18 pages of them. Categories include Submerged Plants, Floating Plants, Floating Leaved Plants, Shallow Marginal Plants, Deep Marginal Plants, Moisture-loving Plants, Bog/Marsh Plants, Waterside Plats-Trees & Shrubs, Ferns, Grasses Sedges Reeds and Rushes. Botanical and Common Names are listed along with height, spread, water depth, flower color, flower period, foliage, position, comments and plant zone. It's the best I've seen in any book so far.
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A visual and informative masterpiece! 19 Dec 2005
By David Crimmins - Published on
I have been interested in the idea of natural swimming pools or swimming ponds for years, but I found information almost impossible to obtain. Until now. Littlewood's book is the best resource out there, hands down. Anyone interested in creating such a paradise in there own backyard will find this book invaluable. This is a 200+ page coffee table style book with hundreds of amazing photos. Friends not even interested in building their own love sitting down just to browse.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The system, plumbing, and maintenance of a natural swimming pool 17 Nov 2008
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Any who wish to learn how to build a natural swimming pool and any library catering to homeowners needs Natural Swimming Pools: A Guide for Building. It walks builders through all stages of understanding the system, plumbing, and maintenance of a natural swimming pool, covering techniques and using detailed scale drawings to impart specs on a range of project ideas. Add color photos throughout and a wide variety of options and you have an outstanding reference.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok for some Ideas 17 Dec 2010
By E. L. Garza - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I thought this book was a little confusing. It gives a little more insight but it's by no means a technical guide for building natural swimming pools. Some of the drawings are helpful though.
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