Mojave Roadside Swale Blooms After Desert Rains

I maintained the grade of the roadside swale and added landscaping to solve problems: flooding of the intersection,  unauthorized “off-roading” across my front yard, and unauthorized cement laying in my corner. An additional benefit has been free irrigation water in an area where water is very expensive.

Swale on Day after Storm

Roadside bioswale the day after a major April storm event.

Swale during storm

Roadside bioswale During Rainstorm. April 2016

The bioswale performed well during the last storm. All those hours of slugging wet soil with my wheel barrow are paying off.  I am now enjoying benefits of free irrigation water in my front yard.  Gone are the tire tracks across my front yard and accompanying property damage. In their place are flowers that put smiles on faces.

Berms & Swales - 83










Tehachepi Rose Blooming in Swale

Tehachepi Rose, Rosa woodsii Lindley 1820 ssp. gratissima (Rosa gratissima Greene 1891) W.H. Lewis & Ertter 2008,  Blooming in Swale After April Storm, 2016.


With each storm, a larger area of soil becomes workable with a shovel and rock bar.

Berms & Swales - 136

Storm Event Softened Soil and Allowed Expansion of Swales and Infiltration Basin.  October 2015.


The system of swales  and retention basins are now reaching my back yard to water my walnut tree.

Additional Links

Bio swale in the Desert?

Trees and Shrubs of Kern County (Dec 2012): Key to Rosa. ©The World Botanical Associates Web Page Prepared by Richard W. Spjut December 2004, Aug 2006, June 2014

Bioswales . . . absorb and transport large runoff events. Natural Resources Conservation Services. 2005.

Bioswale. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Rain Gardens and Bioswales. Soil Science Society of America. 2016.

Stormwater Standards Manual. City of San Diego. January 20, 2012.

Landscape Plants for California Gardens. Bob Perry, Professor Emeritus. Cal Poly Pomona University.

EPA Pamphlet for Low Impact Design on Clay Soil




About Caliche Chick

I retired from a career as an Environmental Scientist and Botanist. My first career was teaching science and English as a Second Language (ESL), and content classes for ESL students at the middle school level. I also taught introductory biology at the community college level. I have an avid interest in plants that grow with little to no irrigation. I also keep a vegetable garden, fruit trees, and back yard chickens. When I am not in my yard, I am taking Construction Technology Classes at Victor Valley College and working on my "fixer upper" home.
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