Too Many Seeds, Too Little Time

Peak time in the garden as I try to get seeds sown and seedlings in the garden. Plus a few wildflowers and an oriole.

One more week before the Victoria Day weekend, by which time most of my seedlings should be in the ground outside, and I haven’t even sown some of them.  Gardening chaos!

Too many seeds
Too many seeds

Pots all over the greenhouse and seedlings waiting for planting.  And I have been planting directly in the ground as well, a bed full of sunflowers and quite a few vegetables, including yard-long beans, snap peas, beets, chard, carrots and more.

The birds are also arriving in great numbers.  We have a pair of orioles nesting nearby, though they haven’t yet ventured close enough to get a good picture:

Male Oriole
Male Oriole

The wildflowers are also emerging too fast to get pictures of all the different kinds.  Here is one of my favourites, the Jack-in-the-Pulpit.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit
Jack-in-the-Pulpit

These live in damp, shady areas so are mostly found down in the woods by one of the creeks.  On the banks of the Pigeon River, there are lots of marsh marigolds.

Marsh Marigolds
Marsh Marigolds

Trilliums and violets in abundance

The mass spring wildflowers arrive in Ontario – trilliums and violets

I didn’t do much photography this weekend – food poisoning kept me in bed, in pain, for most of the weekend.

Nevertheless, nature kept up the spring rush with lots more flowers coming up.

We now have a lawn full of violets, but the biggest blooms are under bushes where the lawnmower doesn’t go.  In this case, a thorn bush, whose two-inch thorns will deter any mower operator.

Violets under thorn bush
Violets under thorn bush

The thorn bush will feature in a later entry – it has lots of flower buds on this year.  Here is a closer look at the violets:

Violets under thorn bush - a closer look
Violets under thorn bush - a closer look

This is also probably the peak weekend for trilliums, Ontario’s provincial flower.

Trilliums
Trilliums

The woods are carpeted with them.

I planted peas about a month ago.  Here is today’s picture, with last weekend underneath for comparison.  There are also some beets showing, but just the seed leaves (cotyledons) so far.

Pea Seedlings
Pea Seedlings

That’s all for this weekend since I am still recovering and only a few hours of daylight left, so I’m going to take a risk and plant a few seedlings from the greenhouse as well: the weather forecast shows above zero for the next two weeks so I should be safe with some hardy plants like snapdragons.

Squirrel harmony and spring seeds

The weather remains warm for Ontario in February, going a few degrees Celsius above freezing each day.  It should be good for the more tender perennials though lack of an insulating snow cover may not help.

I still hear after all these decades since I left, that grey squirrels are still wreaking havoc with the native red squirrel population in England.  Here, they seem to get along well together.  The red squirrels have barely hibernated at all, but the greys (mostly black around here – an Ontario variant) have only been out on the warmest days.  But there are more fights within species than across.

Black and Red Squirrels
Black and Red Squirrels

As you can see, not much snow cover and there was less a week ago.

So here’s hoping it will continue and I can get my seeds into the greenhouse a week or two earlier than normal.  It’s usually around now I start worrying I planted too soon but by late May I’m usually wishing I’d done more, sooner.

I like to have a few tomatoes in flower before they’re ready for planting; otherwise it is too long a wait for fruit.  These ones may be in time.

Tomato seedling
Tomato seedling

and of course you need basil for tomatoes:

Basil seedlings
Basil Seedlings

I have a few more: rosemary, snapdragons, castor-oil plant (ricinus) and delphiniums but their pictures didn’t work out.  Somebody has borrowed all my SLR lenses for a film-shoot so these were with my little Nikon point-and-shoot.