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It's that time of year again! Trader Joe's has bunches upon bunches of fresh and dried lavender. Lavender is a fantastic edible flower with several benefits. The aroma itself is associated with relieving stress and anxiety. Lavender in skincare can help with redness and inflammation as well. So having the chance to try growing it in my Click and Grow was very exciting for me and my sister.
The trick with a Click and Grow is keeping it full of water at all times, but lavender does well with some spacing between watering periods, so I let the water reservoir run dry a few times. One of the growing tips on the Click and Grow website was to let the stems grow without any trimming if you wanted more blooms, or vice versa for more leaves. I'm not sure what variant of lavender this is, but the leaves were abundant and very fragrant! (Fun fact: Did you know that Edelweiss, the official flower of Austria, is a type of lavender? It's so precious that it is illegal to pick it, and the world renowned film and musical The Sound Of Music includes a song about the bloom).
The only challenge I ran into with growing the lavender is that because the stems are so tall, the buds and blooms started to bend away from the light or get tangled in stems deriving from other pods. To mitigate this, I used a seashell as a "post" for the lavender to lean against so I could get the most growth possible.
So how can you use fresh lavender from your click and grow? Here's some ideas:
- Clip a small bunch together and set it on your dashboard as an air freshener for your car.
- Dry the flowers and leaves for cooking with chicken or fish.
- Make tea with a metal tea basket brewer or coffee filter. You can set your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and lay the lavender blooms and leaves on a cookie sheet. Let the oven dry the flowers and then place them in a glass jar with a seal to make your own herbal tea!
- Pinch off the flower buds or leaves and rub them between your fingers to inhale the scent in times of stress or worry. (I use this one most often because sometimes nerves can come out of nowhere and be difficult to manage!)
- Freshen the clothes stored in your closet or dresser with a bundle of dried lavender. (Tip: To dry the lavender, tie it in bundles upside down in a dry, dark place. Keep a paper or plastic bag wrapped around the bottom to catch any falling buds.)
- Make a wreath or flower crown when all of the stems produce flowers!
- Give as a gift when you pick up your new significant other, and wrap it with a ribbon!
- Take the pods out of the Click and Grow, and plant them outside or in a larger pot. Make sure to take off the bottom half of the root system as it will have wrapped around the bottom of the pod. Then, you can add in new potting soil or compost to continue receiving blooms all year round.
- Use the blooms to make lavender syrup for fancy coffees or cold brew!
- Instagram photo ops for spring or summer #lavender
And of course, the almighty Pinterest is an amazing resource for crafts, bath, and spa treatments, and any other way you could imagine to use lavender. Let me know in the comments how you like to use lavender, even just as a lovely centerpiece!