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California Gardenscapes



Landscape Typology: Vernal Pool

Natural Places in San Diego:
Miramar plateau near State Route 163,
Kearny Mesa, Otay Mesa

Description: A central open area surrounded by large shrubs was chosen to carve-out an ovate bioswale. The decomposed granite path directly above the area produced storm runoff and erosion. A swale was added along this path to drain into the newly formed bioswale, where it quickly infiltrates the soil. The basin is filled with a 2-inch layer of mulch to sponge the moisture. Wire grass (Juncus sp.), California Sea Lavander (Limonium californicum) and spice bush (Calycanthus occidentalis) were planted for their tolerance of both dry and wet seasonal cycles.

Helpful Tips: This is the perfect landform to place under a rainspout or at a low spot in the landscape. Make sure to select natives that are adapted to both wet and dry periods such as San Diego Sedge (Carex spissa) and False Indigo Bush (Amorpha fruticosa).


Banner Photo:Mojave prickly poppy | Rachel Cobb