Tuesday, August 20, 2013

An Angel on the Bus (and a Giveaway!)

This contest is now closed. 
The winner is listed below.
Orange circle trellis in the display gardens at Sunset Magazine Headquarters

After taking in the beautiful grounds of Sunset Magazine Headquarters in Menlo Park, including an inspiring reinterpretation of the backyard vegetable garden (above), our sunburned and dehydrated group headed for the buses to continue to the town of Woodside, the site of our next garden, Filoli. It was the second day of the Garden Bloggers Fling this summer in San Francisco.

Unfortunately our rolling, giant ship of a bus had made me sick the day before and I had a good case of dread from the thought of getting on it again. A friend I was just about to meet kindly offered me the seat next to her on the smaller, cooler bus which had been reserved for the few who did not sign up for a photography workshop earlier in the day with Saxon Holt.

Bonnie Manion introduced herself and then kept me entertained and distracted from my nausea by telling me about her gardens, vineyard and backyard chickens in southern California. I'm still grateful. I asked her about gardening with chickens specifically thinking maybe one day..., and she was enthusiastic and encouraging. 

Bonnie is known online by her blog name, VintageGardenGal. It was fun realizing we had done a blog tour together when Storey Publishing released The Chicken EncyclopediaI may have been the only blogger on the tour who knew nothing about chickens. Bonnie, on the other hand, has a degree in Avian Science and years of experience keeping flocks.

Gardening with Free-Range Chickens for Dummies, written with co-author Rob Ludlow of BackYardChickens.com, is Bonnie's new book!

Let me give you a quick list of the contents of the book. It is divided into four sections, “Getting Started with Gardening and Chickens,” “Designing a Chicken-Friendly Garden,” “Chicken Care: Tending to Your Flock,” and “The Part of Tens,” which includes “Ten Common Chicken Problems Solved,” “Ten Beneficial Tools and Aids to Have,” and “Ten Ways to Get Really Fancy.” That last section includes such things as jazzing up your coop by installing a planted green roof. Really fancy is right!

From the VintageGardenGal blog: Gardening with chickens is a great way to create sustainability in your garden, enhance your soil, eliminate pests and weeds, produce a delicious home-grown protein source, and all the while–be amused by these little ‘garden warriors.

I was impressed most by Bonnie’s respect and admiration for the “girls” in her flock. They are well-loved pets. I got off the bus at Filoli entertaining the thought of adding animals to a suburban garden. And dreaming of a backyard coop of my own. With a vineyard. In southern California. <sigh> 

Fancy coop? At Filoli looking for shade.
Wiley Publishing is offering a free copy to a lucky reader at A Charlotte Garden! For a chance to win, just leave a comment below or on the A Charlotte Garden Facebook page.

If you mention the giveaway on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook (or all three), I will count each of those as entries as well. Please use #aCLTgarden in your posts so I can find them.

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, August 27th at 11:59pm EDT.  The winner will be announced here the following morning.

Thank you for participating!


UPDATE 8.28.13: Congratulations to WINNER, Carol Ezovski! 
A big thank you to everyone who joined in! 

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