Last Saturday was a day that we had long prepared for.


My husband and I had spent countless hours sitting alongside my youngest daughter, Gracie, helping her practice for her piano recital.


She was nervous, but looked so cute in her new dress and shoes.  



The recital was held at the Mesa Arts Center and Gracie was playing along with her entire class.

As we were waiting for our turn to go inside, I saw something rather unusual in the distance.

The Mesquite trees looked rather colorful.  So, I walked a bit closer….


No, my eyes weren’t deceiving me.  These trees had knit scarves covering parts of their trunks.


Now, I like to knit scarves for loved ones – but this was the first time that I had ever seen them on trees.


Even the Pine trees had colorful, knit scarves.

I couldn’t imagine why anyone would spend so much time knitting scarves and then ‘sewing’ them around tree trunks.

The trees don’t need protection from the cold.

I needed some answers, because I was pretty sure that they didn’t cover this in my Trees class in college or when I took my Certified Arborist exam.

I spotted a security guard walking nearby and asked him why the trees had knit scarves.  He explained that the trees were the focus of a group to beautify the urban landscape.  

What they did is referred to as ‘Yarn Bombing‘, which is described as “The Art of Knit Graffiti.”  

‘Yarn Bombing’ is occurring in urban areas throughout North America in an effort to add beauty to urban areas.

Well, I must admit that I thought the trees looked quite nice.


But, I think they might get a bit ‘warm’ as the temperatures begin to rise 😉

They will soon be taken down, so if you live nearby – stop by before the ‘knit graffiti’ is taken down.

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While we were at the recital, we got our first phone call from my daughter, Rachele, who is away at basic training for the Navy.

It was so good to hear her voice!

She is homesick and is trying hard not to be discouraged.  She has finished one week of basic training and is learning how to do things “the Navy way”.  

Rachele joined up with a division that had already been there a week before and needed a few more recruits.  So, she has less time to learn how to do things.

Learning how to make their beds and folding clothes a certain way is hard and they come around with a ruler and if you are 1 cm off, you get in trouble.  

I can see why this would be hard for her, since most of her clothes never made it into her dresser at home 😉

It has been cold there (outside Chicago) and they have three different jackets and knit caps that they wear when they have to march from building to building (2 miles).

She was given good advice before she left by her then boss, who is a retired Army colonel.  He said to do your best to blend in and don’t volunteer for anything.  It just makes basic training that much harder.

So far so good, she said.  Her RTC doesn’t know her name, which is supposed to be good.

She has passed her swimming test along with many of her other physical tests – so that is good news.

The recruits aren’t allowed to talk to each other.  But, some try to talk to each other at night after lights are out.  However, some get caught and have to do extra exercise.

We are doubling up on our letters to keep her spirits up.

From what we hear, everything she is experiencing is normal, including the homesickness.  It is supposed to get better around week 4, once they start to get used things.

As for me, I was a weepy mess after I spoke to her.  I do miss her so much.  But, I believe that she will make a wonderful sailor 🙂

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

2 replies
  1. David Cristiani
    David Cristiani says:

    I thought scarves around trees was a hoot, seeing pics of it in Danger Garden's blog in Portland. But it is kind of a nice, temporary art touch. And we know it won't get ruined from rain this time of year… Do they have to be un-knit, or are they clipped or tied once they go around the trees?

    Interesting advice in basic training – never volunteer. Maybe that's good in real life, over 40, too?

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