When I moved into my house about 30 years ago there was a huge hole filled with weeds and growth. Someone many years earlier hand dug and concreted a hole right outside the kitchen door.
My wife and I decided to try to make it a fish pond again. We were completely ignorant where to start, that was the days before the internet, we live in a small town with few resources; first I tried to fiberglass over the cement, worked for a while, then lined with poly liner
When info came readily available via internet, my dreams really went into high gear, unrealistically dreamed of sparkling clear running water, spent a lot of money and wasted a lot of time before I came to the conclusion that for me a naturally balanced eco-system for my pond was more realistic.
What a joy this hole in the ground has become during the past few years. I have experienced many surprise results The photo of the pond shows it in April 2014 just as getting started . Will publish later pictures if any one interested.
Yes, Belle, that is a resident snake from a couple of years ago. I take a live and let live approach to my garden. I think of my self as a visitor in their world. Have fish, frogs, water bugs, occasional snake, that I encourage. They don't hurt me, I don't hurt them.
Here is a renovation done in 2004 (last 2 pictures taken 2014). I have redone it once since 2004, building shelves under the liner to help put pots so I can grow the plants you see in the original posting photos.
On the front rock I grow rock garden plants. By the end of summer this will look like a woodland pond. I have plantings that begin to fill in and change with the season each year. Iris have just finished blooming around the outside border of the pool, you can see day lilies which are beginning to fill in and will be in bloom with in a week.