Laurus Nobilis Standard Bay Tree

Laurus Nobilis Standard Bay Tree, tender?

Laurus Nobilis bay tree

Prompted to feature the Bay tree after watching Monty Don on Gardeners World last week

The leaves on Monty Don’s Bay trees in his Herefordshire garden had turned completely brown due to the very severe frost.

In our garden

Well, I am certainly no expert like Monty, but how ironic. Here we are about 400 miles further North in Fife Scotland and guess what the Standard Bay tree has come through the Winter pretty much unscathed.

I won’t pretend that I don’t know the reason behind this. It’s all to do with the fact that we are right on the coast where Winter temperatures do not drop quite so low. Monty mentioned temperature dropping to minus 15c, the lowest we recorded was minus 6c.  Monty, I would gladly swap Winter temps for some of the heat you get in Summer.

I planted our Bay Standard in a pot in April of 2017. It sat there in our courtyard until February of this year. I then decided to make a proper border in the courtyard. I removed the Bay from the pot and it is looking much better planted in the ground.

Laurus Nobilis bay tree

Plant description

Laurus Nobilis Bay tree is evergreen, aromatic and the leaves are used for adding flavour to soups, stews and curries.

Yellow flowers in Spring add extra interest. I am not expecting ours to flower this far North, I will add a picture if it does.

Laurus Nobilis is used for hedging and should be trimmed in Spring or Summer.

Instead of the usual box lollipops, the standard bay can look great placed on either side of the front door.

Laurus Nobilis bay tree

• Hardiness – hardy down to minus 5c

• Height – grown as a hedge it can reach in excess of 2.5metres, can be kept shorter

• Position – full sun/part shade

• Soil – any reasonable garden soil, if growing in a pot use John Innes No. 2

• Common name – sweet bay

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© 2018, Alistair. All rights reserved.

10 thoughts on “Laurus Nobilis Standard Bay Tree

  1. I would so love to have this in my garden but that is truly day dreaming on my part .. we are in a ice storm warning at the moment as I listen to said ice pellets hitting the windows .. this is very bad and it could be the remake of Ice Storm 1998 which was horrendous.
    But I digress .. Alistair this is a gorgeous standard and to have fresh bay leaves on hand ? now that is perfection from the garden indeed ! You are a very lucky fellow gardener !
    Joy : )
    PS .. I have to move my Pink Diamond hydrangea standard and I am worried .. fingers crossed.

    1. Hello Joy, Ice storms do indeed sound horrendous, you certainly would not want to be caught outdoors in one. Good luck with your Hydrangea, can’t recall seeing a standard.

  2. I love the smell of sweet bay. My daughter has a hedge in her New Jersey garden — a little warmer there than here. I’m not sure if it would survive a Pocono Mountain winter. I love your idea of placing the trees either side of the front door.

    1. Hi Pam, when we first arrived here in Fife I spotted a couple of these Bay trees in a neighbouring garden. I spoke to the homeowners as to how I was surprised at seeing Bay, she said it had been in her garden for a number of years. Aberdeen 100 miles further North, in spite of being coastal, Bay would not be likely to survive.

  3. Hello, Alistair!
    You’re undoubtedly successful gardener, because Laurus nobilis is a tender tree. I liked how it looks near your fence, has many new growths. It’s a pity that we here have less than – 5 C in winter, I’d love to have this tree as well.
    Have a nice week!

  4. Hello Alistair, we have two bay shrubs that we bought at the same time, we planted one and it’s now far larger than the one we have in a pot. We do have some wind scorch on our bay but nothing like what Monty experienced, ours are still essentially all green. I’m not sure what our minimum temperature was but I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as -15C, we are much further south that you and Monty.

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