06 March 2011

Bay Laurel Finally Flowers

One of my favorite all time non-native, culinary shrubs in the garden is the bay laurel. It grows quite well here in Central Texas, we are forever plucking aromatic leaves off the thing for stews, soups and shepherd's pies. Bay is a fantastic fresh herb to have around, and while some people don't like to use the leaves fresh in their cooking, I personally love the fresh green taste of bay.

We bought this shrub when we fist moved to Texas 5 years ago and kept it in a pot on the patio. The first time we had a 98 degree day, the bay laurel fried to a total crisp. Thankfully, that coincided with our move to the current house. We quickly put the bay into the ground. It rejuvenated and has thrived ever since. Well, it got knocked back a bit by last year's super cold freeze, but I think that actually made it happier.

I've been waiting and waiting over the years for the thing to bloom and this year it finally produced! Lots of small, pale white flowers. They don't seem to have a smell, and now I wonder if they will produce berries? The ants are definitely enjoying the nectar, and perhaps they are also pollinating.

Anyway, I highly recommend planting one of these in your yard. A great, evergreen shrub or small tree that can be hedged or let run wild.


Editor said...

Does it handle part shade, or does it need full sun?

Lee said...

Well, I think it handles part shade pretty well, too. I've seen them growing big and full in the understory.

In Italy, the use them everywhere as hedges, so I know they can take some shearing and shaping too.

jabee said...

I've been enjoying your blog and have added a link to it from my website.

I want to recommend a site, Texas Bee Watchers- http://www.beewatchers.com

PS Where did you get your bay laurel?

Jane B

Lee said...

Hi Jane, thanks! Nice site. I think I got the bay laurel at Barton Springs nursery, but have also seen it at Great Outdoors and Natural Gardener.