I weeded and weeded yesterday and feel like a barely made a dent. The section i am working on is the woodland corner of the orchard, deep in the shade of the south east. We left two young maples, 40' tall (half the pines) and under that a collection of small dogwoods and Lindera benzoin (Spicebush). I don't see any drupes this year: the sweet, spicy fruits that are a little bigger than fat rice grains but successfully impart the spice flavor to sugar. Ferns thrive back there. The tiny cutleaf grapefern, one frond only, is fruiting. Southern lady ferns and Christmas ferns have young fernlets under all the stiltgrass. I pulled up lots of grape vine and Virginal creeper -- native but problematic -- and honeysuckle -- not native and very problematic. I lopped all the sweet gum (liquidamber) that sprout from the roots of the trees we cut down, much like tree of heaven sprouts.
I thought about poison and was tempted.
I feel like i hardly made any progress, but i am sure i did. I have resolved, however, that i will just brutalized the border outside of the fence with the wheeled string trimmer, possibly avoiding some of the larger ferns but erring on the side of exterminating stilt grass. I will continue to work on the two woodland bits inside the fence by hand.
The southern crownbeard (Verbesina occidentalis) is blooming along the eastern woodline now: A row of the five foot tall lanky plants are crowned with sunflower-yellow flowers, and glow against the dark woods. Butterflies will be flocking to them. We have a billowy pink flower blooming that is as good as any Joe Pye weed as long as you don't crush the leaves. It's a camphorweed and, ugh, it does have quite a rancid scent. But it's free and there are a good number of small, blooming first year plants in the orchard, and i will transplant those to some other locations.
I've ordered some herbs and a native swamp milkweed and a hybrid bluestar. [then the day began....]