Help on my botanical garden property on St.Thomas, Virgin Islands, US


Virgin Islands (U.S.)

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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    I will tell you a few quick things and then go into detail... I went through 2 major hurricanes in September 2017. The garden estate needs clean up! My main needs are landscape (pruning weeding & chainsaw of destroyed trees) some animal care and a little house cleaning help. If you don't like cats, this may not be the location for you to choose - I have 11 cats throughout the 2 acre property. I volunteered at our animal shelter, fostering kittens, and kept a few. 😍 Island life is about conservation, leaving a smaller “footprint”. We live without AC, trash pickup, mail delivery and no dishwashers besides the person looking in the mirror. The Garden Estate is at 1200 feet, on top of the mountain...very peaceful! Not easy walking distance to a beach or grocery. This is a "room" exchange workaway, food is not included, for several reasons, tho I share what I can. We will discuss this living situation on the phone. If you have done work away before, your other experiences may have been much different. I live alone on my dream property and have specific ideas on what needs done. It is unique and magical and all who see it understand why I work hard on it- 14 years of love and sweat equity keep me focused on my goal.

    For my workaway guests, I have a minimum age of 28 years and a maximum stay of 4 weeks. Also NO smoking please.

    It was designed in the 1950's as a garden estate above the main town of Charlotte Amalie. Since 2004, I have been turning it into a botanical garden. There are path ways to amazing vistas which are impassable at the moment due to the hurricane debris. I need help to restore it. This can be hard work at times. (!) The property is on a 45 degree angle but is terraced (11 total) with concrete paths & stairs to make it easier to get around.

    I have a plant nursery I want to open to the public, after we get the plants re-potted. At some point I hope to offer tours. I also have two apartments for long-term Island residents.

    Your Accommodations:
    I have a 2 bedroom cottage with twin beds, a small bathroom & kitchenette. Sometimes I rent the cottage on an onine rental website. I try to provide you as much privacy as I can.

    What's close:
    The property is walking distance to one tourist attraction called "Mountain top". Magens Beach is the closest beach - You will need a taxi. The island is 45 degree angels! I am NOT on a bus route, but hitch hiking and taxi's are an option. I work full time but do my best to drive you places when I can; including the grocery store!

    I am a mature, hard-working girl with a dream that I need help with. I have been hosting Work away guests since 2015. Managing people is kinda new to me, so I value your willingness to communicate your needs and ideas to me. The more we share up front the happier we are.
    I will ask for ID and emergency contact numbers upon your arrival. Also advise that you have health insurance thru workaway or home. Air medical insurance is smart if you are staying for a while. I have lived on St Thomas 23 years and was taught “island ways” by a great lady & will share that knowledge & look forward to learning from you too.

    Thank you for your time!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Living in the islands is a unique life-style that can't be explained.... it's about electric and water conservation, being prepared for the unexpected (hurricanes), cutting back on excess in your life. The local people are diversified and they are from all over the Caribbean

    I know a bit about plants and willing to share what I know about doing things naturally. I speak very little Spanish but my first work away girl was from Uruguay and I helped with English.

  • Help


    With a property this size there is always something to do. I have a few projects needing electric, plumbing and/ or carpentry skills as well as gardening, and help with housework. I am seeking work away guests with experience and that are over 28 yrs old.

    7:30am meet to discuss work for the day. I go to my job at 8:30am You will start your day with some daily chores (sweeping the walkways and deck around the house and then pick a spot in the garden to "beautify", while I go work a "j-o-b" all day. There are 11 terraces with different varieties of plants to prune, dig up or pull vines/ weeds, cut tree limbs to increase the views. I need to replace a few pathway timbers/ boards that are being eaten by termites etc. Some projects are bigger than others. We can discuss strategy and will mix up the projects - some in the garden, some in plant nursery. I don't ask you to do anything I haven't done myself.

    Plant nursery: organize, re-potting plants, propagating new plants, and dig up baby palm trees to put into pots. I have been "growing" my nursery for 13 years. There are orchids flowering in the trees that need fertilized. I just don't have time now that I work full time.

    I have most the landscaping tools needed; weed wacker (gas), pressure washer (gas), pruners, rakes, trash cans etc.

    Some building maintenance is needed.... plumbing, electric, a painting inside and out, and I need to get the outdoor lighting installed. The lower garden deck also needs rebuilt (termites got it) so I someone with carpenter skills.

    Your ideas once you arrive are welcome!

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken


  • Accommodation


    Housing: stone cottage with 2 bedrooms, a 1/2 bathroom (no shower, has a solar shower) small kitchen, and charcoal grill. Both rooms have twin beds.

    The 2nd apartment is mine: a 2 bedroom 2 bath & I share the kitchen, TV & the shower. There are 10 cats that live on the property.

    Currently I do not have internet.

    Length of Stay:
    prefer not less than 1 week My longest stay is 4 weeks and that is the longest I will commit to, prior to meeting you. This type of living arrangement comes with its challenges! Will consider longer once we are all happy and adjusted.

    Meals: I provide coffee and tea, spices & basic condiments for you to use to make your food. You are mostly on your own for meals. I am open to other cooking options. I will drive you to the grocery or pick up items from the store for you upon request. Grocery costs are probly 15-20% higher than in America, some items more.

    All beaches are within 20 minutes driving of my property by car.
    I do not provide use of my car or truck. Sorry. We drive on the left. My insurance does not cover you. I am sure you can understand.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    I recommend you Rent a car or plan financially for taxis. No Uber here.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    3 hours a day (max 15 hour/week - no food)

Host ref number: 916482733979