We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: Backyard chickens are ruling the West. The latest in poultry trends? Chicken gardens. That’s right. Gardens designed around the needs of your feathered friends. The go-to book is Free-Range Chicken Gardens (Timber Press, 2012; $20), by Seattle landscape designer Jessi Bloom. Four things to keep in mind:
1. You’ll need plants for protective cover from predators, like Japanese barberry and juniper.
2. You’ll need snackable plants, like chard, mustard and sorrel.
3. You’ll need plants, like rustling aspen or bamboo, to drown out the chicken squawk.
4. And you’ll need to choose the right coop. Author Bloom recommends one with a living roof and accessible nest boxes.
I can’t wait to hear what’s next for our pampered backyard chickens … Smart Coops? Ones that adjust room temperatures?