We are trying to reclaim an old orchard right now, it has mixed fruit trees on 5m centers a ton of black and red current bushes, chives, strawberries, raspberries and one sick horseradish. We've added some more trees and some rhubarb. we cut down a what seemed like hundreds of self seeded plums (thorny with dry tasteless fruit) and cut a lot of branches off an old plum tree where they fall in the storms and then root where they fall. all in all we opened up the area a ton and made it much more passable,
Before.. to the left of the picture there are three old wood and metal calf huts they have been there 30 years and also have to go.
Oh look an apple tree! the tree dead center is quite a nice apple tree but it wasn't even possible to see it before! It had a massive crop of flowers this year so hoping for a equally good crop of apples.
But this means we have a problem, the ground cover was wood avons mainly with lesser celandine in the spring, nothing once the trees leafed out the shade was too deep. neither of which is an issue at all, there were a few patches of nettles but since we couldn't walk through the area they were not an issue.. but now they are! Nettles here grow to over 6ft and I hate being stung as it stings for a good 24hrs. so nettles next to paths just have to go, so lawn mower to the rescue.
Hubby found these caterpillars on some he was about to mow, they are either peacock or small tortoise shell butterfly babies so I went to collect them into a pot to move to some safer nettles, well I discovered they have a defense mechanism, when you touch their plant they all curl up and fall off scrabbling around on the floor under some pretty dense nettles isn't much fun, but I found at least half of them and moved them to some high-rise accommodation nearby.