I had toyed with the idea of raising chickens for several years but, with no existing chicken house on the property and no idea where I would put one, I pushed the idea aside.
But never the dream.
The chicken house I had in mind would be a combination of garden shed and chicken coop. I had envisioned a roof on one side that could be planted with a variety of sedums and, you guessed it, hen and chicks. These roofs are called green roofs or living roofs.
I decided on a spot between the garden and the barn. The garden shed is on the side with the door and inside, on the left, the chicken coop can be accessed.
The living roof planting area is only 8 inches deep with a French drain-type pipe in the front to keep water from rushing over the side. The drainage hole faces the chicken run area (not shown)
To get the soil to the roof required a front-end loader. After the soil was scooped up, I grabbed my shovel and hopped in the loader for the ride up.
After the soil was shoveled on, I placed a layer of chicken wire over the entire roof to hold everything in place. I had ordered plugs (which are very tiny plants) early in the year from a friend in the nursery business. A few weeks in the greenhouse and they were ready for the roof.
I used wire cutters to open a space in the chicken wire for the plant.
After planting, I folded the wires back over the plant and secured it with a garden staple. Then I mulched with a layer of Spanish moss. Tedious, I know, but I sure didn’t want everything to be washed off after the first rain.
This is a couple of months later.
I was rejoicing that the plants didn’t die during the winter and actually came back quite vigorously.
I planted some annuals in front and on the side
I got an old scale out of the barn, put an old metal something filled with flowers on it, and sat a painted rooster beside it.
An artist from the local farmer’s market painted an old enamel table top I had and I added it to the side of the coop.
and now 2015.
I added window boxes to all windows and planted some Amsonia divisions underneath. I wanted something tall to grow in the spaces between the windows, but the sunflowers I planted were eaten by grasshoppers. The only sunflower I have is a rogue volunteer from last year. I’ll take it.
Another addition is the sunflower painted door and an old bed rail from a friend’s barn interplanted with zinnias.
I have had a lot of fun decorating this little chicken coop. The great thing is I haven’t spent too much money doing it as I have divided some plants and saved flower seeds from previous years as well as a variety of treasures (or junk if you talk to Allen) Shouldn’t there be a DIY show dedicated to chicken houses?
Does anyone else decorate their chicken houses?
I am linking this post with the Chicken Chick Blog Hop. Check out her helpful blog regarding all things chicken!