Sunday, 13 January 2013

Orchard Plan

It's been a long and tiring weekend, really, but we've cleared about 50m2 of gorse from the hillside, marked out where the 47 trees will go, and cleared and put down squares of weed-suppression on the spaces for about 17 of them.

The gorse patch from the kitchen gate (© Ian 2013)

The gorse patch from the drive (© Ian 2013)

Clearing the gorse was a matter of loppers (and secuteurs) and good gloves. Liz cleared a lot of brambles (horribly twisted and knotted in the gorse), while I concentrated on gorse. The gorse (unhindered by bramble) was rather quicker, and our respective speed showed. The gorse hid an enormous rabbit warren city, which they will now, no doubt, extend up the hill to better cover.

This, no doubt, explained the cats' interest in what we were doing: they spent most of Saturday supervising us.

Eventually, the gorse and brambles were cut, and today we turned to putting out bamboo canes to represent the trees we have planned.

 After clearing the gorse patch, and putting out the bamboos (© Ian 2013)

Roughly half (25) are for Scot's pines; the other 22 are ornamental or fruit trees. We had a bit of time left, so I got Sigrid out, and cleared patches around the first couple of dozen. Once we'd picked up the debris, we had time before the light failed to place 1m squares of weed suppressant membrane around the canes, and weight them down.

Sigrid worked really well, with the tri-blade attached, mowing through the undergrowth. There's a trick to keeping her clear of the long bramble lengths, and obviously the detritus needs clearing afterwards, but that's fine.

Canes marking future sites for the trees (© Ian 2013)

We finished the weekend by sowing sweet pea seeds: we're trying out a lot of varieties this year (14) in different colours, to work out which ones we think will work well in the corner's colour-wheel beds.

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