- - our first wildlife pond - -              
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Submerged plants not only provide hiding places for critters and somewhere that eggs can stay concealed until they hatch but they also help oxygenate the water.  In some of my underwater video footage streams of bubbles are seen rising from them.
Submerged oxygenating plant - Hornwort

Submerged oxygenating plant - Elodea (pondweed)

Submerged oxygenating plant - Milfoil

Hornwort

Elodea

Milfoil

My three favourites pictured above are common and cheap to buy.  A small bundle can be purchased from any aquarist shop for a couple of pounds but if you followed the advice I gave earlier anyone with an established pond will happily give you a bucketful during the growing season as they need thinning out regularly.
There is no need to root these plants - they will do it themselves. Just drop your plants in the water and leave them to get on with it.  When you buy from a supplier you will often get several stems gathered together with a lead wire.  It doesn't matter whether you leave it in place to keep the bunch together and make that end sink so that the plants look as though they are growing upright or you can remove the weight and let the plants float.  They will eventually root themselves anyway.  A few small lead weights will not harm your wildlife.
During our first winter we saw most of our submerged plants appear to fade away into the depths but they were back with a vengeance in 2006.

Plant - Mare's Tail
Hippuris Vulgaris

Mention pond plants and people usually think of water lillies. I can't advise you at all about these.  They generally need deeper water and my personal opinion is that my pond is neither deep enough or large enough to accommodate lillies.

If you have been doing your research you will have read that to keep control over the appearance of your pond you are going to have to do some water-gardening and keep most plants in baskets which are placed on shelves of various depths to suit specific groups of plants.  
I think it makes more sense to make all the shelves a reasonable depth and then any plants that require only a few inches can have their baskets raised by standing them on something eg. water filled plastic milk bottles or bricks (beware of sharp edges damaging the liner)

Plants such as Mare's Tail (left) are attractive, fast growing and facilitate the likes of Damsel Fly larvae climbing out of the water.
Click to see alternative image.

Spring produces rapid growth of plants and many begin producing their flowers. 
The Double Marsh Marigold (Caltha Palustis - Flore Pleno) gives a lovely display and attracts a variety of Hover and Drone flies.

 

Beautiful flower of the Bog Bean I'm not going to start explaining about propagation by division and such like.  I've found that the majority of plants propagate themselves all too readily and need to be kept in check.  You will plant something in a small basket and a few weeks later you may find it poking above water a considerable distance away attached by a runner to the parent plant.

Fast growing and spectacular Double Marsh Marigold

Images are of Bog Bean (left) and Double Marsh Marigold (above)

 

Intro - Construction - Liner - Logs & Rocks - Filling - Soakaway - Life - Plants 1 - Plants 2