Our backyard makeover is progressing, but I’m wondering if it will ever look nice again. It’s a rough work in progress at this point.
We got our permit from the city to keep hens (YAY!), but I’m still not done with the coop. I had to move a flagstone pathway to make room for the coop, and I’m still resetting the stones. Lots of work remains to be done.
I want to make some changes to the coop before we get our hens. The latch that our carpenter put on will be too easy for a raccoon to open, so I’m adding a door latch that varmits can’t operate. I also got a latch and chain so I can partially open the “egg-gathering” door on hot days for increased ventilation. I also plan to lay tile in the floor of the coop (not the run, which is dirt) to make it easier to bleach the floor on occasion.
I’m shopping for a wooden planter box that I can nail to the side. I’m picturing succulents flowing down from the box, something like burro tail. I plan to make a “green roof” for the top of the coop, and have already begun potting plants to put up there. That area gets a lot of sun and should make a great place for starting seedlings next January.
And the coup de grace for the coop (would that be coop de grace?) is some concrete art that I found in our garage that will look perfect on the coop. These pieces are sculptured concrete, possibly poured into a mold, and framed for outdoor hanging. One is of redwood trees and the other is of the Spanish mission in Carmel. They will look perfect hanging on the coop once I get that second coat of paint applied. I mean, really, this is going to be some Cluckingham Palace.
(To read more of Lou Murray’s environmental writing, see her weekly column, Natural Perspectives, in the Huntington Beach Independent at www.hbindependent.com, under columnists.) This week’s column is on our photo club’s trip to Monterey and the agriculture tour. See it at http://www.hbindependent.com/articles/2009/11/06/blogs_and_columns/natural_perspectives/hbi-natural110509.txt)