We’re moving forward in our planning for part of our backyard. Last week I wrote about how we’re going to update our patio area since it’s pretty much nothing but dirt and birds. I am using the book Free-Range Chicken Gardens to help plan our new garden. Here’s the plan view exhibit of what it currently looks like.
We’ve got big plans for this area. Of course we can’t do all of it at once but it’s something that eventually will look great. Free-Range Chicken Gardens has a great section specifically on planning your garden design even if you don’t have any experience doing any type of design. She starts with drawing out your property lines, house footprint, out buildings and other existing elements that will remain. She then directs you to make a wish list of what you want to include in your new plan. She even gets into details such as sun exposure, microclimates and areas of concern. Then you want to show other elements including the chicken coop, run and paddocks, trees, planting beds, lawn area, pathways and patios. This is our plan:
The patio is keeping it’s current configuration but we’re going to be building and adding elements on the patio to break up the large expanse of paving. Against the tower we’ll be adding an outdoor kitchen which will include a sink, barbecue, refrigerator, kegerator, and bar seating. We’ll also be building an arbor over a large portion of the patio to keep this area dry along with the dining table. In addition we’ll be building a cob oven. Flanking each side of the path out to the vegetable garden will be two 4′ diameter galvanized tanks with fruit trees planted in them. These will help add more shade and block the evening sun on those hot days. Offset 2′ from the patio and path will be a 4′ fence to keep the chickens corralled off the patio. The fence will be planted with edible vines such as Maypop passion fruit. There will also be vines such as grape and kiwi planted on the coop run fencing to produce a shady oasis inside the coop. The light green area will be seeded with chicken pasture seed in the early spring and then we’ll also include some chicken/turkey hardy shrubs between our vegetable garden fence and Turkey Town. The gate to the right of the chicken coop is access to the orchard pasture for the chickens and turkeys which will also be seeded with the chicken pasture seed but I’m not showing it here to save space. It’s an additional 20′x50′ area. The end of the path to the vegetable garden will have an arbor for more edible vines such as Scarlet Runners which are perennial here. In the darker green area on the left will be our chicken and medicinal garden. The chickens will have occasional access to this area for foraging. Additionally, the plants chosen for the chicken/medicinal garden are also bee friendly.
This plan will not be implemented all at once, of course. Just like every other project around here, it will be a work in progress so I’ll definitely continue to post on it. The next phase will be the planting plan. Next week I will post about the plants I’ve chosen and why and what the planting layout will look like. If I’m feeling extra saucy I may even include a perspective drawing.