Zandvlei Trust

Swimming pool conversion in Muizenberg.

The lights in our neighbour’s pool are not for mid summer night dips but for frogs to catch gnats, flies, moths and other flying creatures off which they thrive.

Janine and Ferdinand Versveld who live a spit and a throw away from the Vlei have turned their 40 year old swimming pool, which took up far too much space once the children had fled the nest, into a small eco-system. 

photograph by David Muller.

The waterfall flows over the grey rocks in the background.

This wetland is something those of us spoilt with swimming pools could well consider. Janine can still enjoy her summer dips, as well as sitting quietly of an evening watching the birds attracted to this new habitat.

Janine says the birds have just gone...”mal.”  “We spent at least half an hour trying to get rid of an Egyptian Goose which refused to budge,” laughed Ferdinand, “so comfortable did it feel paddling around the new mini-wetland.”

photograph by David Muller.                                                            photograph by David Muller.

The one hundred thousand litre pool is a thing of the past. The Versvelds divided it into two, laid porous pipes down in one half, placed a metre of gravel carefully scrubbed and cleaned over the pipe. Water from a well-point and cleaner than the chlorinated water we buy from the City bubbles out to be sucked into another waterway to feed the artificial waterfall which also helps oxygenate the pool.

photograph by David Muller.

The steps down into the pool.

“Neil Major  - Cape Flats Fynbos Nursery advised us on which plants to place in our wetland,” explained Janine, “and today we have the pleasure of being much closer to nature as it was before Marine Estate was an apple in the developer’s eye.”

photograph by David Muller.

The chairs are out, as it requires time to work out where to put in the next plant specie.

If anyone is interested in doing this to their swimming pool you may call Janine on 083 659 9822.
It’s a great way to invite the wild out there into your front garden.

photograph by David Muller.

Little finishing touches are still be added.

Well done. What an inspiration!

David Muller.


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