Science World | Balcony Garden Sub-Irrigation Exhibit

Build Up | Grow Up | Water Up

As urban centers continue to densify, the challenge of connecting people with their food takes on new aspects. For businesses, public spaces, and new construction – garden spaces aren’t just a nice amenity, they’re an essential part of the over all design.

What if all these gardens were designed to grow food? How incredible would it be to have veggies and food gardens integrated into our daily life, growing food all around us?

It can be done.


Drainage – Many commercial planters and garden installations are in locations that are challenging. From the difficulty of piping in traditional irrigation, to strata rules against water mess/drainage - these are significant issues to overcome. This puts limits on not only what can be planted, but also where gardens can grow.

Longevity/Sustainability – How long will the actual gardens last? Many designers shy away from using wood in their garden/planter designs because of rot and structural degradation over time. Despite wood being one of the most sustainable, organic, and aesthetically enhancing of all building materials - this remains a valid concern.

Water - Even the best laid plans can go awry if you don't water your garden. For that reason, many designers reduce their plant pallet down to only the hardiest/drought tolerant varieties. The regular water requirements make incorporating edible designs and veggie gardens into commercial spaces particularly challenging.

GardenWell Self-Watering Solution

Location – The GardenWells SIP System can be used as a drainage system as much as an irrigation system. The hidden reservoir below the soil captures excess water until full, then allows additional water to drain out of the Overflow in a completely controllable manner. This ‘mess-free’ advantage is huge for commercial spaces by eliminating water spillage and uncontrolled drainage.

Longevity/Sustainability – The foodsafe waterproof liner completely protects GardenWell planters from the inside out. This can extend the expected lifespan of wood gardens by 2-3x or longer; greatly reducing lifetime costs and making garden infrastructure more sustainable.

Watering – Compared to traditional top down watering techniques, GardenWells SIP System reduces water consumption up to 80% while also reducing the water frequency from a daily requirement, to once a week or less. This reduction I maintenance and water consumption makes growing food in public spaces a challenge worth taking on!

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Science World Self-Watering Balcony Gardens

  • Project Type: Commercial Installation | Public Display | GardenWells SIP System
  • Client / Location: Science World | Vancouver, BC Canada
  • Designer: GardenWorks
  • Installer: LifeSpace Gardens

About this Project

Connecting with our food and engaging with nature is vital to human health and happiness. Presented by GardenWorks and located in the Ken Spencer Science Park, the LifeSpace Balcony Garden exhibit showcases how sub-irrigation can to utilized to affect large scale urban change.

“At Science World, we are surrounded by hundreds of balconies towering above us, and we thought, wouldn’t it be great to see some food gardening on all these balconies?

Because we are not experts in gardening, we reached out to LifeSpace Gardens for their help. At Science World, we love collaborative partnerships. We thought food gardening was highly relevant, and it was a way to engage people into the world of nature and growing food. All food comes from nature.

We think we’re the perfect location for inspiring this connection to gardening. It’s interesting to see that kids, who generally come with their parents, are easily connected to plants and they often motivate their parents to do some gardening, even if it’s in a container.”

-- Dr. Scott Sampson, Science World President & CEO
If you'd like to learn how you can start building self-watering balcony and container gardens in your community - click the link below and Contact Us.

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Book info an session

Learn how you can bring new levels of water sustainability and success to your professional garden projects and installations.

In this free 1 on 1 info session, we'll go over the all fundamentals of sub-irrigation so that you can start growing with confidence and maximize the self-watering advantage for yourself, your projects or your clients.

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Learn the fundamentals of GardenWells SIP System

How to Install your GardenWells

How to select the right soil

How to water your garden

How to maintain your GardenWells Planter

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