Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 1
Hours: 12 lecture per quarter (12 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Student will be able to install a water feature in the landscape.
  • As part of a lab, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the main components required to design a garden water feature.


Introduction to the aesthetics of garden water features and the techniques used in their design, construction, and maintenance. Use of fish, plants, and other natural systems in garden ponds and pools.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. discuss the general types and uses of garden ponds and pools.
B. compare and contrast different water feature systems and their design.
C. describe and/or demonstrate mastery of the methods of pool and pond construction.
D. prepare a list of plants suitable for use in garden water features.
E. describe the short and long-term maintenance requirements for garden water features.
F. discuss the cultural use of ponds and pools.

Course Content

A. Types and uses for garden ponds and pools
1. Biotic vs. abiotic systems
2. Pros and cons of water features in the landscape
3. Decorative vs. functional pools and ponds
4. Aesthetic and/or functional purpose
5. Pool and pond terminology
B. Comparison of water feature systems and design
1. Decorative pools and ponds
a. Pond elements
b. Design features
c. Operational features
2. Functional pools and ponds
a. Pond elements
b. Design features
c. Operational features
3. Design of pools and ponds
a. Location
b. Utility service
c. Water circulation
4. Aeration and filtration
5. Amenities
C. Construction of pools and ponds
1. Layout and grading
2. Plumbing and electrical
3. Liners
4. Reinforcing and protective veneers
5. Start-up and operation
D. Planting techniques and plant selection in ponds and pools
1. Defining purpose for pond plants
2. Determining pond cultural conditions
3. Identifying esthetic goals
4. Selection of plants for pools and ponds
E. Maintenance issues
1. Water quality
2. Fish health
3. Plant health
4. System cleaning
F. Cultural uses for ponds and other garden water features
1. Pools and ponds as a cultural symbol
2. Pools and ponds as a functional element of the landscape
3. Pools and ponds for water conservation

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Multi-media classroom
B. On-site water feature
C. Examples of construction materials

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Written tests that describe steps for pond and/or water feature design and construction.
B. Written exam on basics of pond and water feature maintenance.

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Lecture presentations on garden feature design and construction.
B. In-class discussions on garden water features.
C. Discussions on maintenance procedures and practices.
D. Examination of the impacts water features have on different cultures.
E. Guest speaker(s) on pool and pond construction.
F. Field trip to view pool and pond installation.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Fowler, Veronica. Backyard Water Gardens. 1st ed. Brentwood, TN: Cool Springs Press/Quarto, 2013.
Although this text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study.

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

Typical reading assignment will include weekly reviews of concepts pertaining to the theory and practice of water feature design and installation. This involves approximately 20 pages of reading per week.


Ornamental Horticulture