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!