Quick! What are your Trader Joe's obsessions? I'm sure you can rattle them off and rave about them at length. (While we're at it, have you tried the gingermints they have at the checkout? I've been known to make a trip just for them.) But guess what? There's a treasure that's been under our noses all along that I bet you haven't noticed. I know I hadn't.
And when I say it's under your nose, I mean that literally — at least if the flower area at your Trader Joe's is right when you walk in like it is at mine. I'm already a fan of their flowers, but don't trust my arranging ability enough to buy the mix-and-match flowers, opting instead for the cute, already-done bunches. But right there hiding along with the individual flowers and the arrangement fillers is the best $2.99 find you haven't been buying.
I'm talking about the eucalyptus.
You may have seen eucalyptus pop up as an ingredient in everything from cold remedies to beauty products, but you can also buy the eucalyptus itself … well, more specifically the leafy branches of the massive eucalyptus, a tree native to Australia.
It's incredibly versatile, and a total bargain. If you like having fresh florals in your home, like Apartment Therapy editor Arlyn, but don't have the budget for an endless profusions of blooms, eucalyptus is an elegant answer. The lovely leaves add the touch of green that makes a home feel instantly happier, and the simple, clean lines of the plant add a note of grace wherever you display them.
A single stem can boost a room, while a couple bunches add major drama. And they don't have to go in vases. Take a spin around Pinterest and you can find some super fun ideas for hanging eucalyptus. My favorite? Your own DIY aromatherapy by hanging it in the bathroom where the steam releases the gorgeous perfume.
But wait, there's more! Yes, our new friend is inexpensive, but eucalyptus also lasts ages. Arlyn gets two weeks out of hers — that's way longer than any flowers I can remember buying. Want to keep them around longer? You can also preserve them, like the team at the Merrythought did.
I've been in search of flowers I could put in my Airbnb that won't wilt when guests are here more than a couple days (I'll never forget the sad, withered poinsettia situation that began with such good intentions when I had guests over the holidays!) and I think I've found it. The hard part now will be deciding the prettiest way to display it!
Do you buy flowers at Trader Joe's? Which ones? Have you picked up any eucalyptus before?