Chicken Coop with Living Roof

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.

Beginning construction of the chicken coop with a living  roof
January 2013
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)
May 2013--Filling the living roof with a combination of topsoil, perlite, and compost
Filling the roof with a combination of compost, perlite, and topsoil
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.
Filling the roof with topsoil, perlite, and compost
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.
sedums rooting for the living roof sedums rooting for the living roof
I used wire cutters to open a space in the chicken wire for the plant.
chicken wire was placed on top of potting soil mixture to keep it on the roof
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.
May 2013--living roof planted
sedums and hen and chicks planted
This is a couple of months later.
July 2013--living roof on chicken coop
July 2013
I was rejoicing that the plants didn’t die during the winter and actually came back quite vigorously.
August 2014--sedums are filling in nicely on the living roof
August 2014
I planted some annuals in front and on the side
August 2014--Living roof on a chicken coop
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.
garden art  at the chicken coop
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.
sunflower painting on the chicken coop
August 2014--chicken coop with a living roof
chicken coop with a living roof
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.
July 2015--chicken coop with a living roof
July 2015--chicken coop with a living roof sunflower at the chicken coop
Another addition is the sunflower painted door and an old bed rail from a friend’s barn interplanted with zinnias.
chicken coop front door
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!