Completed December 2014!

We have been working on clearing more of our lot and installing a garden which will contain a variety of fruit trees and a host of beautiful flowers.  This is project has been in the works for the last 10 months and has been done in between guests.  At the end of the process, you’ll be able to access the gardens on a brick path up to a two person hammock and picnic table area which has stunning views.

We’ve enlisted the help of our friends Lincoln and Ashton a.k.a. the “Rock Stars”.

With the help of Lincoln (left) and Ashton (right), we’re slowly transforming the jungle into a usable and beautiful space!

 

A St John art project

After a ceremony where we honored the beauty of the island, we got the blessing of the white octopus to proceed with the project.

 

BVI Octopus

Of course I’m kidding, those were just some cool pictures I just wanted to share.  Now, back to the project…

The garden takes shape

We took out most of the smaller trees and battled a horde of spiky vines, vicious catch and keep, stinging nettles and a lot of pissed off ants and hungry mosquitos.  The plants on St John are far more dangerous than any bug,  spider, bee or centipede.

View from top of road to Apito after initial clearing

After getting a small excavator on the lot, we sculpted and terraformed into a series of terraces in preparation for the garden.

We then began building walls, lots of walls… We supplemented the stones we were able to gather from the property and from our ghut which is basically a dry stream at the lowest point of our property, but it does become a river after a hard rain!  Even with a bountiful supply we still had to supplement our haul with a few truckloads from a guy in Coral Bay.  The amount of rock we’ve put up is indeed impressive. At least by my standards!

First wall

 

 

We decided to start working our way down the hillside, constructing walls as we went based upon the natural contour of the land.  This is the first terrace area which will eventually be home to our generator.

 

 

 

 

 

This next picture I decided to include as a full sized photo.   We’ll be placing a picnic table and hammock on in this area!  Apito will soon be sheltered from view after the many flowers and fruit trees begin to prosper.

 

View from Hammock and Picnic area

Here’s the first terrace area after a few weeks of progress.  We’ll be planting various fruit trees, shade trees and flowers here.

 

Second terrace area

We move to the other side of the garden and build the large retaining walls for the picnic and hammock levels.

Hammock and Picnic table areas

As we move down the hill, the last set of walls go into place next and we begin building the walking path.

 

Next, we build the last wall which will form the right side of the path.

Right side of path

 

We’re in the process of selecting bricks for some wall tops and to pave the walking path and stairway.  We’ll place low voltage led landscape lighting which will allow our guests to enjoy the area at night for gazing at the moon, millions of stars and the milky way.

We’ve put in irrigation and planted a ton of flowers and fruit trees.  Some examples include: Jasmine, a bay leaf tree, avocado, lime, lemon, papaya, banana, sugar cane, frangipani,  bougenvilla and many other beautiful flowers.

We now have most of the trees and flowers planted along with an irrigation system to make sure everything prospers.

View of the new garden from the driveway.

I wanted to get the plants started as quickly as possible in order to allow them as much time as possible to establish themselves.

 

Flowers and fruits will soon come!

 

View from the picnic area.  As you can see from the picture, Apito is almost obscured from view.  After a few months, it will be barely visible.

View from the picnic area

In the foreground, there is a set of stairs which will connect to the wall where we will install an additional staircase and a gate.  The steps are about 80% complete, and I just took measurements for the amount of brick we’ll need to pave it.

Pathway to Apito

After walking down this path, you’ll ascend up the stairs to the hammock and picnic area.

Stairway to hammock and picnic areas

Here’s a shot from the hammock area toward Apito showing the stair location.

View from Hammock area toward Apito

Sept 12, 2014 – We continue to make progress.  2 Pallets of Old Chicago bricks, 6 yards of sand, 30 bags of cement and 5 yards of gravel and 3 rolls of landscape cloth plus 500 landscape staples so I can quit battling weeds forever!

Ashton putting down the bricks for the walkway.

Ashton laying down the first bricks.

Ashton laying down the first bricks.

Got to love this view from the hammock and picnic table area.

A beautiful new view for Apito guests soon come!

A beautiful new view for Apito guests soon come!

Laying out the rest of the walkway.

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Now, build the steps connecting Apito –

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Mortar in the walkway and finish off the steps.

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Most of the garden has been “clothed” and waiting on the gravel to be added.

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October 26, 2014

We’re approaching the final stretch and have the wood for the posts and stairs.  Finishing up the upper patio today and have most of the gravel down!  Hopefully, we’ll be ready to knock out the wall and have the gate and lighting good to go by the end of November!

A beautiful sun rise over Normal Island from Apito.

A beautiful sun rise over Norman Island from Apito.

The picnic and hammock views are stunning.

The picnic and hammock views are stunning.

The orchids are happy!

The orchids are happy!

Just some filling in left for the landscaping.

Just some filling in left for the landscaping.

From the entry way to Apito.

From the entry way to Apito.

Should have the picnic level tiled and bricked by today!

Should have the picnic level tiled and bricked by today!

Bananas!

Bananas!

Papaya!

Papaya!

Leaving Aptio

Leaving Aptio

Banana's begin here!

Banana’s begin here!

With some help from the humming birds.

With some help from the humming birds.

11/22/2014

We’re almost complete!  We picked up 200′ of 1.5″ rope for the railings and knocked out the wall and created a gate.  Just a few more clean up items and touch-ups and we’re there.

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The plantings are doing very well and starting to bloom and bearing fruit.

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Rope is ready to be installed and will be one of the last chores on the list.

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We folded the stairs into the hammock area and created two planters.

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Ashton and our friend Aaron taking a sledge hammer to knock out the wall for the gate.  There was a LOT of concrete.

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Ashton created this gate in about 3 hours.  Just some sanding, staining a a brick threshold and we’ll be almost be done!

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Here’s a few of the current resident awaiting completion of their new habitat.

A Coki awaiting a new home

 

Resident Humming Bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, one last photo… Had a double rainbow this spring for you to enjoy from the deck of Apito!

Double Rainbow!! Double Rainbow!!