Posted: 28/02/2017 at 15:46
He needs to measure it and draw it to scale and then note north, south, east and west. he also needs to work out what kind of soil he has - sandy, lomay, gritty, clay, acid, alkaline, neutral, well-drained, boggy.....
Then he needs to think about what he wants in the garden and also how much money he has to spend on materials and how much time he will realistically spend on maintenance each week to keep it weeded and trimmed and mowed as needed. Otherwise it's no better than having a perfect kitchen installed and then never washing the dishes or wiping the surfaces and cleaning the floor.
Shallow ponds tend to be high maintenance as they easily fill up with weeds as the water warms faster than deeper ponds and even evaporates. To protect any fish and aquatic plants from freezing in winter it needs to have a central depth of minimum 60cms plus a shallow beach end to allow wildlife to escape and not drown - frogs, toads, hedgehogs etc.
Some well placed shrubs will add interest and be low maintenance if well chosen but the choice will depend on what kind of soil he has and which way the beds face. Easy perennial flowering plants will add colour and interest thru the seasons but again the choice depends on his garden conditions.
I suggest you send him to the local library to borrow a copy of Alan Titchmarsh' How to Be a Gardener in book and DVD form or buy one on the internet.