Free Range Chicken Gardens - How to create a beautiful, chicken-friendly yard
By Jessi Bloom with photos by Kate Baldwin
Copyright 2012 (American, already into its third printing, so must be popular. Pity it's not Australian, but still relevant anyway.)
This 221 page book is an ideal size. Not too big to be cumbersome, but big enough to show off the beautiful pictures within to best advantage, and for the writing to be well spaced and easily read.
Reading through it is like taking a stroll through a myriad of friends' backyards and sitting down with a nice hot cuppa to discuss keeping backyard chooks. It doesn't set out to be the ultimate reference book for poultry keeping, but does achieve a good score on the enjoyment factor calculator for me, and there's some good info in there as well.
The back cover says:Gardening is for the birds
It's true, you can keep chickens and have a beautiful garden too. And fresh eggs are just one of the many benefits - chickens can help your garden grow and thrive.
In this essential handbook, award-winning garden designer Jessi Bloom covers everything a gardener needs to know, including chicken-keeping basics, simple garden plans to get you started, tips on attractive fencing options, the best plants, and plants to avoid. With step-by-step instructions for getting your chicken garden up and running.
For anyone who wants a fabulous garden where colorful chickens happily roam, Free-Range Chicken Gardens is the guide that will bring the dream home to roost.
I was particularly fascinated with Theresa Loe's coop. She has a 1/10 acre lot and grows food on every possible square inch. Her chicken coop is a renovated doghouse with a simple green roof and an attached chicken run. The green roof, which is insulated with plants in nursery trays installed over a waterproof liner, helps regulate the coop's interior temperature, filters the rainwater, and looks beautiful.