The Garden District was originally the rural part of Wellington Wells, responsible for the majority of the city's food production. The Garden District suffered major damage from German bombing raids during World War II and the German invasions of 1942 and 1943 caused further damage, leaving large parts of the district in ruins.
After the end of the German Occupation, the Garden District was neglected by the Executive Committee while the rest of the city rebuilt and redeveloped itself. Ever since the invention of Joy, the Garden District was largely forgotten by the Wellies, and eventually became known as something of a mysterious, almost mythical land, located beyond the heavily guarded bridges connecting the islands.
Because its relative remoteness and isolation, the Garden District became a dumping ground for those who could no longer take any more Joy, remembering more of Wellington Wells horrible past. Initially, they're referred to as Downers until they manage to escape into the Garden District, where they're then called Wastrels.
Because the Garden District doesn't have any authority controlling what the people can and cannot do, the Wastrels formed their own social rules so they could retain what little edification they had left, moving into whatever remained of their crumbling houses.
Over time, some Wastrels banded together to form their own sort of authority; the Headboys, who patrol the roads during the night, take over abandoned structures, steal what little food remains, and sometimes kill innocents in the process.
Currently, the Garden District is in many ways a wasteland, with no functional infrastructure aside from the occasional Water Pump. The entire district consists of small hamlets, villages and towns made up of bombed-out, ruined and decaying buildings, surrounded by vast open fields covered by overgrown vegetation.
With the collapse of domestic food production and trading with outside countries ceasing, the Garden District is suffering from an ever-worsening food crisis. While Hamlyn Village and the Parade District still have limited amounts of food left to sustain themselves, the Garden District is already in the midst of an all-out famine, with people being forced to forage anything edible to avoid starvation. The Garden District may have a ton of berries to collect, but they don't satisfy one's hunger for very long, and most other foodstuffs is rotten.
Lud's Holm, one of the holms in the Garden District, is ravaged by a plague originating from Haworth Labs. The Labs contaminated the groundwater with chemical Joy waste, causing mutant spores to grow Histoplasma Mushrooms all over Lud's Holm. Because of how starved the population is, they had to eat some to survive. Those who suffer with the plague experience gradual degeneration and breakdown of their mental functions until the disease drives them to rabidly attack and kill anyone in their vicinity who isn't infected, spreading the infection. It's important to note that not everyone who ate the mushrooms suffer with the plague, as some instead experience visual and/or auditory hallucinations.
There are some positives to the Garden District; no Joy Detectors were built on the islands, making it much easier for the player to get around, this also means that the residents are much more laidback than the Wellies. Additionally, all water found in the Garden District does not contain any Joy, making it safe to drink and store using canteens. The Garden District is also plentiful of plantation such as Rose of Gilead Petals, Rowan Berries, Blue Currants, Night Blooming Nonsuches, Honey Bee Nests, and the likes.
In order to conform in this district, the player must wear any of the following outfits:
- Torn Suit
- Padded Suit (Arthur and Ollie only)
- Reinforced Padded Suit (Arthur and Ollie only)
- Sergeant's No. 2 Service Dress
Wearing anything else will raise suspicion from NPCs and eventually cause them to become hostile.
The Wastrels make up for the majority of the population within the Garden District. They're former Wellies who accidentally took bad Joy batches, causing them to become groggy, erratic, and elicit severe changes in their brain chemistry; preventing them from ever taking Joy again. Wastrels wander the streets of their ruined past, talking to themselves and others with excessive pessimism coming through. They're harmless for the most part, but will put up a fight when provoked.
The Headboys are the quasi-criminal gang of the Garden District, acting as the only real authority they have. They can be found guarding secluded locations that either has great loot, or has a source for their survival. They're also found stealing from other Wastrels, sometimes going so far as to kidnap them to exploit their benefits, such is the case for Nigel Lawson.
Like the Bobbies, the Headboys patrol the streets during the night. Although harmless, they're a bit stronger than regular Wastrels.
The Garden District is also home to the Home Army, a remnant of the old British armed forces that were once stationed in the city. The Home Army is situated exclusively on Ravensholm, in the Victory Memorial Camp and thanks to a combination of heavy Joy use and possible abuse of Strange Alcohol, the Home Army soldiers have descended into a delusional state of patriotism, where, despite being well over 60 years of age, they continue on with their "duty" of defending the city from the Germans.
These uniform-wearing lunatics live a strange militarized lifestyle within the camp, conducting daily training regimens, drills, combat exercises, maintenance duties and other tasks. Home Army soldiers react with violent mania to any unauthorized trespassers caught on Ravensholm, (which is to say, anyone besides General Byng and Sally Boyle who is not wearing a military uniform).
Only found during Survival/Sandbox mode by graveyards, the Witches are supernatural entities who use chemically altered weapons for attacking. Witches are also encountered during The Night Watch mode.
- Johnny Bolton's Shop: Owned by Johnny Bolton, located on Lud's Holm.
- Haute Cuisine Restaurant: Staffed by Nigel Lawson, located on Eel Pie Holm (Only in Act I and Survival Mode)
- Vending Machines: Found only inside the shelter on Eel Pie Holm.
- The Executive Committee tells the Wellies that they're working on restoring the Garden District to its former glory, starting with Lud's Holm. However, no work is actually being made.