First, remove any existing plants, rocks and debris from the area. Then dig out the shape of your new pond. We chose a rounded shape that dipped down to a depth of about two feet at one point, creating the pool end. This isn't deep enough for fish.
Cover all of the soil with a layer of fill sand, one to two inches thick. This will act as a cushion for the pond liner you will lay down next and keep it from ripping if it's in contact with any small rocks or hard chunks in the soil. Around the edge of the pond, build up the sand a little higher and taper it off around the sides.
Pond liner will basically keep your pond clean by separating soil and sand from the water. The thicker the liner is, the less likely it is to tear but it should still be flexible enough to mold into the shape of the pond. If you need to use more than one piece, overlap the two pieces by a foot or more so you don't have leaks. Lay down the liner so that it completely covers the pond with excess on all sides. It should fit up and over the border you created with sand. Use rocks to pin the liner in place all around and cut it to the right size.
Use a hose to wash all of the stones before placing them in the pond. Completely cover the pond liner with small to medium sized stones. Around the edges, incorporate larger boulders to create a contrast. We used Haystack and Siskiyou boulders that are tan in color. Roll them into place rather than lifting them when you can. When deciding on placement for the boulders, look at the shape of them and choose the best side to showcase. This may take some trial and error to create the best look.
Plants around the edges of the pond will bring in color and soften the look of the stone. Choose plants that do well in your area and use a range of colors and sizes. Add drip irrigation to keep the plants watered.
We used a store-bought bamboo fountain to create movement and serenity in this pond. They are easy to hook up and require very little assembly. Once your fountain is in place, fill the pond with water and plug it in. Keep an eye on the water level in the hot months, adding to it when necessary.