Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 3
Hours: 2 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: HORT 40 and 60B or equivalent; HORT 21, 22 and 26 strongly recommended.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate, through assigned projects, knowledge of planting design as it relates to the aesthetic, cultural, ecological, and functional use of plants in the landscape.
  • demonstrate proficiency in creating planting plans for residential landscape projects.


The use of ornamental and native plant materials to express basic design principles in the landscape. Planting design theory as it applies to the aesthetic, cultural, ecological, and functional use of plant materials in the landscape. Graphics used for presenting planting designs. Special focus on the use of plants in garden designs.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. exhibit an understanding of the principles and theories of planting design.
B. demonstrate knowledge of plant cultural requirements.
C. demonstrate knowledge of use of plants with design elements.
D. demonstrate proficiency in creating planting plans for residential landscape projects.
E. illustrate how planting design fits into the total design process.

Course Content

A. The principles and theories of planting design as they relate to the aesthetic, cultural, ecological, and functional use of plants in the landscape
1. Plant features (texture, form, size, symmetry, drought tolerance, etc.)
2. Functional use of plants (visual control, screening, erosion control, etc.)
3. Plant selection for different design schemes
B. Plant cultural requirements
1. Soils & fertilizers
2. Climate
3. Sun/shade applications
4. Planting techniques
5. Urban environments
a. Planting for culturally dynamic urban zones
b. Street tree planting
c. Urban forestry
C. Planting design elements
1. Form
2. Texture
3. Line
4. Color
D. Creating planting design for residential landscape projects
1. Analysis
2. Conceptual design
3. Schematic design
4. Final design
5. Planting plans
E. Planting design and its place in the landscape design process
1. Planting design graphics
2. Contract documents
3. Garden design vs. landscape design vs. landscape architecture

Lab Content

A. Evaluate and select plant material.
1. Choose plants based on cultural requirements
2. Select plants based on esthetic requirements
3. Select plant based on architectural uses
B. Conceptual layout of plant material.
1. Prepare site analysis
2. Prepare "bubble diagrams"
3. Evaluate and select concepts
4. Integrate components from varying concepts
5. Prepare overall conceptual diagram
6. Identify plant categories
C. Selection of plant material for designs.
1. Choose plants based on cultural, esthetic and architectural characteristics
2. Specific arrangement of plants to perform functions
D. Preparation of planting plan.
1. Draw plant symbols on plan
2. Add plant tags
3. Prepare plant schedule
4. Complete plan with notes and title block information

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

Design laboratory with multi-media projection system. Students provide drafting supplies and equipment as necessary to complete projects. Needs vary by student. Typical materials include vellum, tracing paper, drafting pencils, pencil sharpener, eraser, erasing shield, drafting tape, T-square, parallel glider, architect's and engineer's scales, triangles (30/60 and 45), circle template, drafting brush, and drafting surface.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Participation through attendance
B. Weekly exercises and projects
C. Final project

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lectures.
B. Lab activities.
C. Assigned reading activities.
D. Self-guided research.
E. Guest speakers.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Kingsbury, Noel and Piet Oudolf. Planting: A New Perspective. Portland, OR: Timber Press, 2013.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading assignments will include reading approximately 10-20 pages per week from assigned and supplemental text.

B. Writing assignments include:

1. Performing class drawing assignments.

2. Prepare maintenance schedule for recommended plantings.

C. Other:

1. Lectures will address reading topics and experiences of instructor. Classroom discussion and demonstrations in support of lecture topics will be provided.

2. Guest speakers will provide additional perspectives on planting design.



Ornamental Horticulture