May is a flowering month for Sweetcakes. A busy, busy month, with loads of flowers. A flower of a month with busy days and busy brains winding down the school year and winding up for summer vacation.

One of the reasons – this really was on my list – that I wanted to move back to Utah? The lilacs in May. That smell. Those soft flowers.

For our anniversary last fall, Mr. Sweetcakes brought home and planted a lilac bush in our flower garden out front. We named the plant Shelby – tiny as she is, Shelby’s flowered already. The poppies have popped. The red hot pokers are ready to burst. Even the rose bush has flowered.

A month of extra heat this year where everything that blooms has taken up its business to do so much earlier. It’s all blooming now or has bloomed and gone. What’s left to bloom in June and July?

I’ve decided to plant a couple of new perennials just so we have something to color the garden later in the season. There’s lavender in the garden, as well, so that’ll throw off some late-season purples.

Last weekend, too, we planted the vegetable garden. During our first-ever garden last summer, we identified the key factor in our success in keeping plants alive: automatic watering systems.

So, while Mr. Sweetcakes wrangled the sprinklers near the garden boxes and set up a drip system for the strawberries hanging on the porch, I planned out this year’s crop and planted.

Tomatoes, always, lead the garden: Romas, Belgian, Cherry, and Black Russian. We also have cucumbers, beets, shallots, radishes, jalepeno peppers, butternut squash, rhubarb, and red and green bell peppers. All of that fits into two 4X4 raised garden beds, and one smaller overflow box.

I also planted basil, for pesto; cilantro, for salsa; and mint for...mojitos.

The garden box sits beneath the apricot tree, which is heavy, heavy with fruit. Mr. Sweetcakes trimmed back several branches so we don’t have an apricot disaster in the garden bed when the fruit falls, and I’m out there every day picking up young fruit out of the tender plants.  

The garden is a little bit escape, and mostly a way to make life richer right where I am, like the books I’ve been reading lately about people who toss of their lives, move to a new country and find something new to do that fills them up. We are becoming gardeners. I don’t know if I ever thought I’d say that.

Here: go read A Summer Garden by Louise Gluck.