Category Archives: Bridge

Lush Tropical Gardens

Posted by Cassie

One of our favorite parts of this big project we call our property/finca is the tropical gardening. When we first arrived, there was just a huge mess of competing underbrush, weedy trees, thorny bushes and vines that we could hardly walk through. Certainly not what you would probably think of when you imagine tropical gardens.

Path to lower area
After some initial clearing efforts in 2013: Hawk Alley

Making our way through the property when we first bought it in 2011

There was very little in the way of broad leaf classically tropical looking plants. We weren’t even sure that it was possible for us to grow them since Rincón can be quite a bit drier than some other nearby areas like Mayaguez and into the interior mountains. We thought we’d give it a try anyway.

Growing bananas is one of the most beautiful and fruitful of our tropical gardening

We give a little extra water to the new transplants than they would otherwise receive, but the irrigation is fairly minimal. We are constantly adding new plants and choosing new sites and always looking for new gingers, heliconias, bananas, palms and other tropical ornamentals, edibles and exotic fruit trees.

Flowers from the farmers market
Britton buying some ginger and heliconia starts at the Rincón Farmer’s Market

It’s an art to leave the jungle for the most part in tact while also making trails that are walkable even in the rain and planting new additions that we can tend to. We are getting better at it every day. The most densely planted area we call the Tropical Garden.

Britton umbrella
Britton looking cute with his umbrella in the Tropical Garden

It is down from the turkey coop and immediately west of Hawk Alley: the Roble tunnel of trees that hawks like to cruise through. It is really starting to fill in now and I love that this will be our walk to the cabin when we move there. Eventually we will probably put in concrete steps and other amenities to make the walk a little easier, but even in the rain it is already a nice little stroll through the jungle. Here you can take a virtual walk with us in the rain from the tropical garden to the bridge and cabin.

Tropical gardening is one of the most enjoyable aspects of our time here. We look forward to creating more and more lush tropical areas around the property. As these initial plants grow we will be able to separate their corms and transplant them too. When we need a break from the work of the cabin, this type gardening is a fun and easy reprieve.

Speaking of the cabin…it is almost all fully lit up with electricity woohoo! Next up…water. Then we can water the new tropical gardens over there too!

Cabin in the woods
Cabin lit up at dusk

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Scenes from the Yard: December 2015

Posted by Cassie

We love this rural tropical life. Here are a few fun photos from this past week or so.

Rainstorms and rainbows falling into the sea

Kitty on the bridge
Kitty on the catwalk

Siding Cabin
Siding on the cabin is looking really good! (And who is that handsome turkey on the deck?)

Iguana in banana tree
Iguana in a red banana tree

Wild fern

Cassie and Cow
This loose cow has been just hanging out on the property

Laser Cat and Cow
Laser cow and cat stare-down

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Crossing that Bridge When We Get There

Posted by Cassie

This week Britton put on the last few boards that connected one side of the bridge to the other.

Bridge and Palm tree
Little Britton, big bridge and huge Royal Palm tree

We have been enjoying going across it, walking on it like a catwalk, swinging our legs over the edge, laying down feet to feet or head to head looking up at the birds, bugs, and iguanas in the trees.

Full length bridge
Full length of the bridge

Bridge and stairs
On the catwalk, yah!

It’s not totally done, but it is useable/walkable now. We still need to add some other bolts to it, put on some handrails and about 10 more feet to make the transition onto the bridge feel seamless. Then we need to put in rebar and pour the concrete steps to make the full connection all the way to the cabin.

Looking down at the bridge
Britton had to re-do a few of the stair molds because they weren’t regular rise and run

Compared to going down into quebrada and climbing back up, crossing the bridge feels like floating.

House and Bridge
Bridge, curving steps and cabin

We love our little cabin hideaway in the woods and this bridge makes it even more fun. We have already started talking about what we can put below it. A tilapia pond? A small waterfall? Koi? Ducks? Tropical water lilies? Or all of the above. There is just so much potential with this property and this bridge is another step to helping us unlock even more.

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Bridge Rails and Planks

Posted by Cassie

The next phase to the bridge was to put on the 2×8 rail boards. Once these boards were placed we were able to start finding 2x4s that would work for the planks. Most of this whole bridge was built using scrap lumber that we still have around from the old wooden house. We used up nearly all of the 2x6s on the deck and roofing for the house, but we still have LOTS of other sizes and types of wood. So it is nice to be able to clear out some more to use on this bridge.

Cassie Bridge
Looking down the line of the bridge -ready for the decking planks


Cabin and bridge
Cabin and bridge through the trees

Lately it has been raining pretty heavy so there has been a light stream flowing under the bridge. It has also made the slopes really slippery. A good reminder why we decided to build this bridge in the first place.

Bridge rails
Future 75 foot long foot bridge over an intermittent creek (the quebrada)

Bridge planks
Adding the planks

It’s really starting to look like a bridge now!

In other news, check out this gorgeous canna. These flowers are always in bloom and spread like crazy. One of my favorite tropical bulbs/flowers. Even their foliage is beautiful.

Canna Lily and Royal Palm

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