Key to designing a garden around water are the reflections on the water surface of the plants at different times of year - and sometimes reflections of things you would prefer to hide. Often there are surprises ,so it pays not to try too hard, just enjoy the effect.
This blog is all about how to cope with gardening in continental climate. All the books and TV programmes talk about 'Mediterranean gardening' but few places actually have a classic Med climate - hot dry summers, cool wet winters. My garden is 450m above sea level and temperatures reach over 40 degrees C in summer but drop down to -8 degrees C at times in winter. How to cope with about 50 degrees temperature range? It requires a whole different approach and I cannot find any books that really help, especially regarding cultivation of vegetable & fruit.