I got an extra dose of Vitamin D these past few sunny days with long walks and time spent working in the yard in an effort to restore my gardens to their former splendor. Just like the past two days, I took a long walk at Council Point Park before heading out for dreaded yard work. Today, I did a thorough inspection of the objects of my pruning efforts two weeks ago. I am pleased to report that the haircut and fertilizer might have boosted my spirits after I was suffering some post-Polar Vortex gloom and doom over my roses. Four of my six rosebushes are full of red and green leaves – two are still iffy, but do have new growth. I tried hard not to compare my Knock Out roses, which reached the top of the fence line, to those short, squat and bloomless plants that are now barely one foot tall, but I believe they will rally back. The Nelly Moser clematis is kicking and screaming to make a comeback with its tender tendrils starting to climb toward the sky once again, and an added bonus is the appearance of a couple of buds. By Memorial Day my largest clematis’ blooms are usually long-spent and scattered on the ground, but this year, every bud will be precious and treated with TLC. Perhaps I took all my perennials for granted – they were there for so long and returned every Spring with minimal care. The other three problem bushes are not looking so great though. Despite my pouring half a bag of Holly-tone on the holly, the 4X4 foot bush has a mere eight new leaves on it … but eight leaves are better than the zero leaves which it had two weeks ago when I took my pruning shears and went on a tear throughout the yard. This weekend I painstakingly snipped each tiny branch and most are at least supple, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Two more longstanding bushes, also planted in 1985, are dubious and I suspect have bitten the dust, though the Garden Doctor on WJR tells his listeners to “have patience with all your plants, bushes and trees and keep the chainsaw at bay for now” … I shall abide by his sage wisdom and evaluate everything once again by the 4th of July holiday. While I steadily nipped away and pulled out handfuls of weeds as well, the woodpecker was busily tap-tap-tapping on a tree somewhere nearby and the songbirds filled the air with their joyous songs. A cardinal’s unmistakable tweeting for which seemed like eons, produced a sound almost as if that bird was sending messages in Morse Code – it would tweet endlessly, then stop, start a few notes, stop, then repeat the process several times again before going full throttle with the tweets once again. Ever the optimist, I interpreted the cardinal’s message to say “don’t despair – the best is yet to come” … how is that for positive thinking? Speaking of positive thinking, I wanted to include with today’s post a photo of a house I pass everyday enroute to the Park. The family has a son in the military and you cannot help but notice the yellow ribbons adorning the two house pillars and the tree out front. The ribbon is not “around the old oak tree” like the subject of that popular song, but the maple tree props up that ribbon and the family as well. A sign on the lawn tells us a son is in the service and the service flag in the window states there is a family member serving their country. I thought it fitting that I include this photo on this Memorial Day holiday. No matter the worry, small or large, keep the faith … sometimes it’s all we’ve got.