natural pool

Why I Think Having A Pond Is Better Than A Garden


I've always hated gardening, the constant weeding in the hot sun, all the squatting down and bending over, hauling mulch and manure- all of this is disagreeable work to me! But of course, I love the results, who wouldn't love a whole meal produced right from your own backyard? I have friends and relatives that absolutely love the process of gardening, a good example would be my niece-in-law's garden and you can read about the happiness she finds, in what I regard as onerous toil. Her blog is even called,  Backyard Happiness.

Planting a water garden is so much easier, and you can truly find zen and peace in the simple upkeep of this little water community. There is no stooping down and weeding, no mulching, and no tiling, look at the photos of our watercress. It grows so densely packed that pesky weeds can't find their way through.

The lotus, lilies and water lettuce are low upkeep and actually serve to feed the fish too. These plants are very prolific, you don't have to fertilise them often and even have to toss out some when they grow too fast. The koi fish also help with their natural fertilisers. To me, having a water garden you can enjoy your fruits of labor in a different sense by the zen calmness in getting to enjoy a relaxing seat by the pond.  Also none of my pond plants have died because I forgot to water them.

To Be or Not To Be... Chlorinated

We have a huge ugly hole in our courtyard that’s big enough to bury a dinosaur,  thanks to an old visit from hurricane Georges. Like Bill said in the previous blog, sometimes even a much needed project to make the place beautiful for the guests has to wait it’s turn. We have looked at this hole for so long we hardly notice it anymore, kind of like the mother who ceases to hear her child screaming every day while the rest of the world wants to pull their hair out. I’m sure the guests notice it though.

For over a year now we have been telling our guests,”Please excuse the huge hole in the back that used to be a pool, as we are waiting for the perfect weather and to schedule the workers to repair it”. Ha! How long can we really get away with that one, before one of our returnining guests calls us on it? Finally we have agreed on my idea, which is one we had discussed during our first year of work here, of making a natural  pond with fish and beautiful aquatic plants in and around the water.

We will continue sending all of the bathing beauties to our natural swimming hole at the end of our hike for a swim and spa pedicure (by the shrimp), which is a  whole lot more private and romantic than any ordinary pool could ever be. I know our dogs will love the natural pond on a hot summer day. It will be a lot easier maintaining it if the frogs, bugs and leaves that might possibly fall in don’t have to be removed every day and are just part of the new aquatic ecosystem. Also at this high elevation in El Yunque the pool would have to be heated in the winter and we do not have our massive solar panel project going yet either and the pumps and filters would still burn lots of electricity belaying our eco-lodge green foot print.

We do plan on putting in a solar heated  hot tub outside beside the pond on the deck for the guests to soak after long hikes. It will have a view of the Caribbean on one side and the rainforest on the other. For our guests who enjoy swimming in a traditional swimming pool they have the option of renting Margarita’s 5 acre secluded estate home that we manage next door.

We plan to landscape our pond to achieve a serene and zen like effect. We will  be building a thatched gazebo beside it which will house the hot tub. One side of the pond will be used for a waterfall that is the outflow from the bio-natural filtration system. The  tranquil trickle of the waterfall with the solar outdoor lighting will give it a nice romantic feel and night blooming Jasmine will fill the air with a lovely scent. Outdoor lounge chairs will be scattered about for our guests to hang out there.

Most Inns and guests houses on the island have traditional swimming pools. We will be taking a risk by not having a pristine turquoise blue swimming pool on our web page as an advertisement like everyone else. Our Inn is a true eco-resort which shouldn’t have a pool with pumps, energy wasting heater and  chemicals. We would prefer to spend that money on really nice linens and other amenities for our guests’ comfort.

Not to be.... chlorinated, no! To be a new home for fish, frogs and beautiful aquatic plants.