Designing a successful garden around a pond requires a fair amount of expertise, but is easy to understand and build.
First, find a suitable area that has good access, sun or shade (up to you), and good drainage. You must first find an area where you would like to place the pond. It should not be the lowest place in the yard if it tends to flood. You should plan out all of the plants you want to put in it beforehand because some plants may not like the conditions of your yard. For example, I usually prefer to use nasturtium because although it is an annual and is not hardy, it will usually water itself. What I mean is if it comes in contact with any water at all that is in abundance, it will spread out roots, and absorb the water. This will also let it grow longer, and more fully encompass the pond.
The pond will need running water, frogs, fish or any combination (fish need running water). This is because mosquitoes will breed in stagnant water, and frogs and fish help to eliminate them, and they are much better than chemicals, because those will damage the environment around the pond. After that point, designing it is up to your personal taste.
Choose your pond layout. You can go with a solid pond liner, which will maintain its shape--all you need is a hole. Or you can go with a non-permeable membrane. This mat approach to designing your pond makes it any shape or style you would like. Simply dig a hole exactly how you would like it, and insert the pond liner. Slowly fill with water while flattening out all of the creases.
Once the liner has been filled, you can either put a border around it, or you can leave it non-descript, again up to you. It is recommended however that you secure the pond liner somehow because it has a tendency to slip.
Afterwards, place dirt around the pond about one inch or so from the top of the liner so dirt won't get in. Lastly, you are now able to put all kinds of wildlife and plants in you pond--just remember to look at the tag and decide if it needs full sun or shade, and what zone it can survive in, depending on the type of area your pond is in.
This is all you need to install a pond liner yourself. I didn't recommend any plants besides nasturtium and lily pads because not all pond gardens are the same, and it is up to you and your personal style to decide what fits and looks good, and what won't thrive or does not fit your standards. One last word of advice: Don't add Miracle-Gro to your pond water, although it is recommended on all gardens, even mine, if it gets in the water it will cause an algae bloom, and stimulate the growth of mosquitoes because it is nitrogenous, so keep the fertilizer in the soil.
By: Clayton Ludwig