Although I believe that it is best to leave nature to do its own thing and not to interfere, I sometimes I think it could do with a helping hand. The spring of 2020 was lovely, but the weather took an unfortunate turn for the worse in June.
In April and May of 2020 there were a lot of Orange Tips flying around and I found loads of eggs and caterpillars. Unfortunately, we had a lot of heavy rain in early June and most of the caterpillars I had been watching disappeared. After one particularly heavy shower I could only find one caterpillar, so I popped it on a Garlic Mustard plant that I had in a pot and put it in a mesh cage for safety.
This spring I was pleased to see plenty of Orange Tips flying around. There were so many that quite a few Garlic Mustard seed heads had more than one egg on them. This is unusual, as it is thought that Orange Tip caterpillars are cannibalistic. I noticed two Cuckoo Flowers growing on the edge of our pond which were proving very attractive to female Orange Tips. When I checked one plant had seven eggs on it and the other had nine. These are really small plants and I find it hard to believe that there is enough to eat in one plant for just one caterpillar.