WSU CAHNRS

College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Horticulture

The Waterwise Garden

Students begin work at Waterwise Garden site, spring 2012

Students begin work at Waterwise Garden site, spring 2012 – photo by Caroline Pearson-Mims

Development of the Waterwise Garden began during the Spring 2010 semester with the construction of the garden pavilion. The first major area of plantings was installed in Fall 2011 with the help of students and volunteers (see video, right). Students began excavating soil and moving supplies into the remaining undeveloped area of the Waterwise Garden in early March 2012. The Garden’s patio area connects with the west side of Ensminger Pavilion.

The Design

To support the ideas of sustainable design, the Waterwise Garden focuses on water consumption and how, through meticulous design and careful attention to plant selection, a beautiful, functional, and environmentally stable landscape can be achieved.

Waterwise Garden Master Plan - Click image for larger view

Waterwise Garden Master Plan – Click image for larger view

The students’ design includes a patio area that can be used during events in Ensminger, a dry stream bed ending in a rain garden, extensive use of drought-tolerant plants, and additional water-conserving features. Recycled broken concrete, or urbanite, from various projects on the Pullman campus was repurposed to form walls and paths. Wooden benches, formerly located in the Information Technology building atrium, were retrofitted to use for patio seating. Students focused their efforts on developing a design that would maximize the collection of natural rainfall on the site. Existing trees were incorporated into the garden design.

Green roof

Garden pavilion green roof – photo by Phil Waite

The Waterwise Garden houses a green roof garden pavilion (right) that is being used as a garden storage area. The green roof also is a valuable teaching tool. It allows for a “hands-on” display of how green roofs can reduce energy consumption, aid in stormwater management, promote biodiversity, and still be aesthetically pleasing. The roof is planted with a mixture of drought tolerant, cold hardy succulent plants. The garden pavilion is partially constructed from reclaimed materials.

Learn more

Read about the green roof in Connections magazine.

Learn more about rain gardens

Waterwise Garden site, 2011

Waterwise Garden site, spring 2011

Students plant Waterwise Garden

Department of Horticulture, PO Box 646414, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6414, 509-335-9502, Contact Us
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