One of the challenges of gardening on Vancouver Island is to design for extensive rainfall most of the year as well as summer drought. The first consideration in the design of this garden was to deal with winter runoff and water conservation in the summer. Roof water and greenhouse runoff is collected and recycled through an artificial steam bed and pond system. The drainage system mimics a natural wetland and functions as a biological filter to clean the water exiting the site.
The second strategy for working with the natural systems included using native plants. The plant materials used in the Habitat garden were selected to demonstrate how native plants can be used to create a beautiful garden as well as one that requires less water, fertilizer and maintenance. The native plant materials used are also more resistant to deer browse then conventional garden plants.
Third, the garden incorporates facilities for viewing and learning about native plants and artificial wetlands. The garden will eventually contain interpretive panels which will provide botanical and other cultural information on the plants used.
Central Vancouver Island Botanical Garden Society provided funding for the creation on this garden.