Chicken Coop Update and Some Other Stuff

I just realized I haven’t done a chicken coop update in a while.

There are some changes coming to the coop, but I wanted to show you how the roof is coming along.

Let’s travel back in time to late winter when the coop was being built.

chicken coop

Late winter

I planted the roof in April

chicken coop living roof


And here it is in July filling in quite nicely.

chicken coop july '13


I swore I was not going to make any more flower beds, but this coop is begging for one (well, probably two) and maybe even some window boxes.

Do I need another intervention?

Or more ibuprofen?

We have been blessed with several days of rain and decent temperatures and the flowers are looking beautiful.

One flower that has caught my eye is Amish Cockscomb.

amish cockscomb

This is an heirloom flower I have saved seeds from for years.  It is an annual and gets about 12 inches tall,  but still has the velvety texture and look of the larger cockscomb variety.

amish cockscomb

I planted it with some old-fashioned petunias and butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

amish cockscomb, old fashioned petunias, asclepias tuberosa

I also wanted to share a way to mark newly planted perennials.

golf tees

I start most of my perennials from seed.  Typically, the first year the plant only stays about a foot tall.  I never know how a new plant will react in my garden.  If it is late to emerge the following spring, there is an excellent chance I will accidentally plant over it.  So, to mark my plants, I place golf tees around the plant.


golf tees around parsley

My bronze fennel is becoming very popular with the Swallowtail butterflies.  Fennel, parsley, and dill are all host plants for this butterfly.


Bronze fennel (left)

Butterflies are very particular where they lay their eggs.  They only lay eggs on plants the caterpillars will eat.  This makes that certain plant a host plant.

Monarchs will not lay their eggs on these plants.

swallowtail, fennel

swallowtail caterpillar

Monarchs will lay their eggs only on Asclepias species (aka butterfly weed).  You will not find a swallowtail caterpillar munching on this plant.

Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa

The down side to all the rain and storms is this.


My poor redbud tree!

But hubby came to the rescue with his handy electrical tape and some zip ties and put my tree back together again.

redbud after

redbud surgery went well

Thanks, Al!

Disclaimer:  More than likely this won’t work.  But it did work in the late ’60’s when I ran into our apple tree with my bike.  The tree split just like this and my dad performed  this technique and the tree lived for many years after that.

Never hurts to try.

Speaking of my dad, he also made a contribution to my chicken coop.

chicken coop

What would I do without the men in my life?

Have a great weekend!


About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
This entry was posted in Arkansas blogger, Butterflies, Chickens, Family, Flowers, Garden, Home, Seeds, summer flowers and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Chicken Coop Update and Some Other Stuff

  1. Everything looks great, Brenda! I saw a Spicebush Swallowtail laying eggs on my bronze fennel about a week ago, but haven’t seen any caterpillars yet…we’re watching!


  2. Anonymous says:

    I love your post! Most enjoyable. Stock up on ibuprofen next time you run errands!!


  3. bhoyt10 says:

    I think window boxes would look great! Super cute coop!


  4. Peter/Outlaw says:

    I love the golf tee idea, they’re so much nicer than having plastic plant markers everywhere! Sorry about your redbud and I hope that the surgery is successful! Your dad is a funny man!


  5. The Dancing Rider says:

    The coop is really nice! Enjoyed this entry so much, and all the lovely photos. 🙂


  6. Just how many flower beds do you have? I need the facts before I make a decision on the intervention. 🙂 I discovered a new bush last year that, to me, is drop dead gorgeous. It’s called Firebush. It has green leaves and funky looking orange blooms that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Zones 8-10. What zone you live in? Or you could plant some red azaleas or rhododendrons to coordinate with the red door.


  7. Girl, I have 8 flower beds! I’m truly out of control. The Firebush sounds interesting but I am zone 7. I really haven’t even thought about plants for the coop at this point. I am doing some more work on it and can’t wait to show everyone when I’m done.


  8. Brian says:

    Nice chicken coop! I’m curious about the living roof you have. What do you plant in it? Does it drain if you get too much rain?


  9. All looks good…I am waiting fro swallowtails to use the fennel, dill or parsley.


  10. loving the living roof on the chicken coop – what have you planted up there? And a yes from me for window boxes 🙂


    • I have a variety of sedums planted. ONe that does very well for me is Sedum ‘Angelina’ also, sedum ‘voodoo’ and sedum ‘blue spruce'(?) not sure that’s the right name. Also, for color I planted portulaca which may or may not come back next year but is doing well this year.


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