Laurus nobilis – Half Standard
Bay Tree, Sweet Bay, Bay Laurel
Laurus nobilis is likely known foremost by its immediately recognisable leaf – the bay leaf, a popular culinary herb. However, The Bay Tree also makes for a brilliant ornamental evergreen tree that is particularly tolerant of drought.
Whether the foliage is utilised in an herb garden or not, they are particularly attractive – growing on brown stems, the lush green leaves are leathery with a finely serrated wrinkled margin.
Laurus nobilis Half Standard is a medium sized tree form of the species which has been clipped along its single woody stem to create a topiary ball of foliage at the top.
Native to the Mediterranean, the Bay Laurel has a long history of uses in the surrounding cultures. The leaves are, of course, often used as a herb in food, but in the past were often used to tree ailments from bronchitis to influenza.
The fruit, oil from the fruit and the sticks all too have a wide variety of historical and contemporary uses, with the latter being used in Madeira as BBQ skewers to impart aromatic flavours into the food as it heats.
Laurus nobilis Garden Design
The tree itself also has a wide variety of uses when it comes to gardening. It can be used as a small tree in a herb garden, or several can be planted in a row to create a screening privacy hedge that stays green all year round.
The Bay Tree is very accommodating to pruning if the size and shape becomes too much for the space it’s in, or pruned into topiary for a more formal appeal.
Laurus nobilis is often used in patio tubs.
Laurus nobilis is particularly drought tolerant and can be planted in a variety of well drained soil types, and in a variety of locations – in full sun to partial shade.