Trying to save money and stay within his budget, I suggested adding some bigger boulders and some outcropping to break up the look.
This is useful since the patio pond bowls are also being used for aquatic plants. This turned out to be a great way to integrate lily pads.
With the reservoir being 50 percent above ground, there would be more work (and more boulders) needed to hide the liner and exposed matrix boxes.
The existing pond had a ring of concrete and flagstone coping around it and the pond itself contained 8 inches of rotting debris.