Do you want to know if this book can save you
from a muddy chicken garden? It’s entitled,
Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a
Beautiful Chicken-Friendly Yard. It was published
in 2012 by American author Jessie Bloom, and
with a name like that she seems born to garden.
Hi, I’m Beth from Garden City Chickens, and
weekly I share a video and write in my blog
about my mini flock of hens in my small garden in
the United Kingdom. When I first got hens my yard
turned into mud and I started transforming it
to work for my family and my hens and make it
into a lovely space again, so this is a great
channel for you if you’re considering getting
chickens or you have chickens and you’re not
happy with how they’ve changed your garden.
The author Jessie is the real deal,
she’s an award-winning landscape designer
and she has certifications in her profession
and she’s a long time chicken owner.
I’ve read this book cover to
cover twice, it’s easy to read
it keeps my attention. I can also just jump
into a section to get the information I need.
Her ideas will inspire your garden, how to design
the layout that considers your family, your
plants that will survive alongside your hens.
This book is for you if you want your hens to
roam your garden but you’re unsure how to do
that safely from predators or from the weather,
and give you the confidence to choose plants that
will survive alongside your hens. This would also
be a good book if you have hens that have done
damage to your garden and now you have
them cooped up but you don’t want your
hens confined to the coop all the time, this
book will help you find balance and compromise.
My favourite thing about the book
is the gorgeous photos, full colour,
there must be almost 100 photos in this book. The
gardens are super beautiful, I wonder if I’ll ever
get my garden to look even half that good! The
photos show the chickens enjoying an outdoor life.
I also like how this book is practical with
ideas that I can use in my own garden. This
isn’t a book of ‘how to copy Jesse’s garden and do
the exact same thing’. It’s a book of inspiration,
and understandably so there is just so
much variance between people’s lifestyles,
and garden sizes, and climates, and where they
live in the world, and their type of birds, and
there’s so many things that she can’t account
for, so she can’t tell you to what exactly to
plant and where. It’s an inspiration to
take and apply to your own circumstances.
Jesse’s tips will also save you the cost
of valuable mistakes such as not to buy
delicate summer bedding plants only
to have them ravished by the hens.
I had learned that the hard way
when I was first starting out.
The first 145 pages in the book deal mostly
with how to create a garden that your
chickens will thrive in, then as a bonus the
remaining 55 pages cover various other topics
such as designing a chicken coop, dealing with
predators, caring for your hen’s health needs,
and these do all relate back to the garden design
and how to make a good habitat for your hens.
This book isn’t intended to be the only
book you’ll ever need to buy about chickens,
it provides you with realistic expectations
about what will happen when you let your hens
loose in the garden and reassures you that
you don’t have to kiss your landscaping
goodbye when you bring chickens home,
you just have to get creative with it.
I wish I had found this book a year
earlier in my chicken keeping life.
I had bought this book one year into keeping
hens in my garden and they had turned our
very little bit of grass lawn into mud and we
were in rented accommodation! I was starting to
experiment in ways to improve the garden, and
I was very happy to find a book on this very
subject. It would be very time consuming to
try and find all of this information online.
If Jessie ever does a second edition of her book
I would love to see photos that show maybe a
wider view or with more context
of the gardens that she features,
and maybe also feature some of the very small
chicken gardens that she alludes to in her book
because I think that would have a big interest
to readers here in the United Kingdom,
and maybe also a section about
designing a chicken playground.
What’s your favourite bit about this book,
Free Range Chicken Gardens? Feel free to
comment below or leave me a message. Thank you
for watching and I hope to see you next week, bye.