Ecolodge News July – August 2019

Our plants are thriving thanks to the protection provided by our 2 metre high boundary walls AND despite the chergui, the hot dry wind from the east

It’s really feeling that the end is in sight now, with a sign produced recently (above).

Progress is so fast that I can barely keep up with it all! Mohamed the builder, Said our guide, Rachid our driver and I spent spent hours on geometry, measuring, calculating,  recording and sketching, looking at, selecting, designing and ordering building materials including tiles, plumbing and electrical items, wood or even climbing up a metal structure to measure the size of the panels that the local authorities require for signs giving directions!

Almost every day a sample of something needs approving, whether it be the height of a dividing wall for a shower, a type of plaster, the colour or texture of tiles, the shape of an arch, the design of window shutters or a solar chimney or the location and watering regime of plants.

Our team at our existing guest house have meanwhile been working on colour schemes,  bedding,  towels, furnishings  beds, bedspreads, lampshades, curtains, bedding, seats, tables, showers and rugs.  Almost all of these items are being made in the town. Meanwhile Latifa has taken on the mammoth task of paying everyone and recording it all.

After 3 weeks on the site, I’m now back in Wales and still there are many things to plan & write up such as (so far):

  • details of priorities and sequence of items of work to be completed eg which rooms to plaster & tile first (bearing in mind that some tiles are not yet dry enough to lay)
  • making lists of items to order for bathrooms and kitchens
  • agreeing a design for the clients’ kitchen
  • creating “interesting information about the plant your room is named after” cards for each bedroom.
  • preparing a list of distances to various points of interest in town. This may be used either as part of an Iphone App being developed for us or with a new town map, both kindly produced by friends.

The garden plants are growing really, thanks to the great care given to them by our guardian, Choco (so named since I gifted him some chocolate). He’s growing tomatoes and pumpkins growing under the olive trees (see below). Stacked against the wall you see the locally made tiles which we will use outside: many guests will have seen these tiles made in a High Atlas village with Dounia.

The tiles shown below are produced at the same village. They will be used in 9 separate places outside in groups of 9 for decoration.


Cactus garden doing well, though it is dwarfed by a pile of soil which will be used for plastering. This soil has come from the hole we have dug for the swimming pool.
Building the grey water storage tank to store proceesed rain water and water from showers and wash basins so that it can be used when necessary for irrigation

 

A female tortoise has moved in! Must find her a mate next!

 

 

A colection of citrus trees: now settled in nicely after a slow start: grapefruit, lemon, Seville Orange & cedrat. On the left a floriferous climber. In the background olive & quince trees

 

The swimming pool in mid August – 19 metres long and 3 metres wide. Because it is less wide and longer than most pools, its walls have a large thermal mass AND we will paint it a dark blue the water will remain warmer than most pools in the winter

 

Fig, date palms & mulberry for food crops and some ornamental plants including the deliciously mauve coloured jacarandra

 

Vines interspersed with jasmine

 

Shutters on south-facing windows & doors will allow rooms to be kept warm or cool
Some of these trees have lived in post outside our old guest house for years. They are quickly filling the fourth side of the courtyard

 

The scented gadren, mainly herbs with roses is in the main dining courtyard outside the activity room. In the centre there will be a fountain. Below the circular central area is the grey water storage.
The black water leaves the site by a 3 metre deep trench – plenty of fall to ensure it flows well! After the trench is partially filled the phone line will be laid above it.
Imagine designs like this on the marble – reminiscent of henna designs