We’ve spent a beautiful, full Saturday touring seven inspirational gardens at the yearly Port Angeles Petals & Pathways Garden Tour, sponsored by the Clallam County Master Gardeners. I’m so glad I remembered my camera and snapped photos of the plants I’d love to grow at Coppertop. The fragrant specimens inspired me the most. Who knew there are so many gorgeous varieties of mock orange that can actually grow here? Other standouts were the golden spirit smoke trees, a lovely contrast to the purple smoke we grow here. About half of the gardens also featured vegetable plots and orchards, and I feel encouraged to try planting artichokes after seeing a thriving patch with its distinctive foliage.  We were surprised that not one of the gardens on the tour featured chickens!

Our chickens are now four months old and will soon be laying eggs. As their combs and wattles get redder, the laying date approaches, but certain breeds don’t get as red as others. The favorite part of their day is when we open the gate to their home in the afternoon for free range time. They fly out in a flurry of feathers, all 12 getting airborne, or at least a few inches of air. I’m not good at capturing that excitement on film as I’m usually taking cover, but I did take some chicken pics this week. These birds are entertaining and a pleasure to see running around the gardens.


The four buff orpington girls have the fluffiest backsides…


…and the grumpiest faces!



The two Rhode Island reds, or rhodies, are a bit more streamlined and are friendly to all the hens, which we weren’t expecting, based on the breed’s reputation for bossiness.


See, here’s one calling her barred rock pal over to check out the choicest bits of clover.


This rhodie isn’t quite as mature, but she does play well with others.


The two black & white barred rock gals are lovely and have matured quickly. We probably won’t know which hen it will be that leaves us that first gift, but my bets are on this one.


The craziest looking hens are the four ameraucanas, each one distinct with a developing “muff” around their neck and a “beard” of feathers, they’re also smaller and quicker than the other chickens. They have greyish green legs and feet. We’re hoping for lovely green or blue eggs! Cindy Lou Whoooo, who used to look like an owl, now perhaps resembles a hawk (or eagle?).


And then there’s Ashley, also an ameraucana, who has continued to be the runt and the whiner. The cross on her back is long gone, and she’s basically the color of the buffs, but her grey tail and much smaller size give her a little  je ne sais quoi.


Yes, I am attached to these youngsters, and I’m so happy all 12 have thrived so far at Coppertop!



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