Laurus Nobilis Standard Bay Tree, tender?
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 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.
• 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