Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
Hi, welcome to byc.
Not sure about the garden, but I think good starter breed are barred rocks, easter eggers, and orpingtons. That being said, there are tons of personality range between individuals even in the same breed. How many are you getting?
X2 on the Orpingtons and Easter Eggers. I have no experience with barred rocks. My easter eggers have been decent layers, one laying pretty consistently an egg every other day, and my other one laying about 5 days a week. Also, both of my EEs are very quiet, much quieter than my orpington. My orpington is my friendliest bird, and she lays pretty well, between 4 to 6 eggs a week. That said, all chickens are going to scratch and dig and eat plants and dig holes to dust bathe in.
I am getting Faverolles in August. They are cute and rumored to lay pink-ish eggs. I like having few breeds so it's easier to tell them apart.