Collaborative Urban Swale: Part 2 – The Design

Now that we have the project parameters we can delve into the design.  Below is an overview of the placement of the overstory trees, guttering and French drain as well as a detailed drawing of the understory plantings which include xeric shrubs, succulents and groundcover.  All plants should be able to thrive on rainfall after the initial establishment phase.

DS slide 3

 Plant List:

All plants were chosen for their xeric qualities; able to withstand high temperatures, reflected light and heat, and irregular watering. As many natives were used as possible. Items taken into consideration were: season of bloom, nitrogen fixation and food source for pollinators and local wildlife.   This is a typical Zone 4 planting and could be used equally well in nature strips and would thrive off local rains and harvested stormwater.

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Overstory trees:

  • Hybrid Cercidium “Desert Museum” - Thornless palo verde

Understory shrubs, vines and herbs:

  • Hardenbergia  - Lilac vine
  • Salvia x 'Trident'- Trident sage
  • Asclepias subulata - Desert milkweed
  • Sphaeralcea ambigua - Globemallow
  • Senna covesii/Cassia covesii - Desert senna
  • Eriogonum fasciculatum v. poliofolium - Flattop buckwheat
  • Aloe dawei - Dawe’s aloe
  • Hesperaloe parviflora - Red Yucca
  • Bouteloua curtipendula - Sideoats grama
  • Baileya multiradiata - Desert marigold
  • Gazania rigens - Clumping ganazia
  • A variety of seasonal wildflowers including various penstamons, salvia, Arizona poppies, toadflax, etc.

  DS slide 5DS slide 6

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