Growing Bay Trees
The interesting thing about Bay trees is that the traditional use was always culinary. Today it is ornamental as well. So if you are looking for tree that doubles as a 'foodie favourite' and a 'garden designers delight' the the bay tree may be it.
You will probably be growing these trees in containers, so look for container grown trees from colder climates. If you are fussy, see if the plant can be lifted out of the pot so you can check the root system. Some nurseries are happy with this, some not. We know which nursery we would choose.
The leaves of the bay tree are used widely in cooking and as one part of the well known 'bouqet garni'. Bay Trees or 'laurus nobilis' is the Bay Leaf Tree and is widely grown in the UK for both culinary use (bay leaf) and as a hedging plant.
Twisted Stem Ornamental Bay Trees.
One of the newer additions is the bay tree with a twisted stem. These are grown as ornamental standards and the stem is twisted like a 'cork screw'. Highly ornamental, but a little slow to grow so they will not be cheap.
You can also find the traditional Italian style 'double twisted stem' type. Two plants with intertwining stems grown as a standard. An excellent specimen in a terra cotta pot on a patio or near a door.
You will find the double twisted stem types either loosely twisted with space between the stems, or tightly twisted, its a matter of choice.
Growing Bay Trees for Leaves
Bay trees grown in the kitchen garden can easily be pruned to maintain a small compact tree, in fact if you use bay leaves in your cooking on a regular basis, little pruning will be required.Bay trees may also be grown in containers if required, they can be grown indoors over winter.
Bay trees grow well in full sun ( but will cope with part shade) with some protection from cold wind and frost. A well drained soil is best. Frost is a problem and plants may need to be pruned heavily is frost damages the plant. The leaves may be picked and dried and kept for a year or more in an airtight container.
Bay Trees are available for sale online from specialist herb nurseries listed.
Tel: +44 (0)1362 860812 Fax: +44 (0)1362 860812
Norfolk Herbs are growers of naturally raised culinary, medicinal and aromatic herb plants for wholesale, retail and mail order supply together with Bay Trees, Scented Pelargoniums and Hand Thrown English Garden Terracotta to give stature, colour, scent and flavour to a window-sill, patio, garden or landscape