The Waterwise Garden

Development of the Waterwise Garden began with the construction of the garden pavilion in Spring 2010. The first plant beds were installed in Fall 2011 with the help of students and volunteers. Students excavated soil and moved supplies into the remaining undeveloped area of the Waterwise Garden in early March 2012.

Garden with flowers, grasses, small trees, and mulch
The Waterwise 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. It demonstrates how, through meticulous design and careful attention to plant selection, a beautiful, functional, and environmentally stable landscape can be achieved.

Students carying rocks in a garden area
Students begin work at Waterwise Garden site, spring 2012. Photo by Caroline Pearson-Mims

The students’ design included 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 re-purposed to  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.

Aerial view colored sketch of a garden
Waterwise Garden Master Plan

A Green Roof

The Waterwise Garden houses a green roof garden pavilion that is 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.

various plants being grown on the roof of a wooden structure
The Green Roof garden pavilion of the Waterwise Garden. Photo by Phil Waite

Links to other sections of the Landscape Architecture Display Garden