Screening and hedging plants are in greater demand than ever, and one particular plant is gaining popularity, with good reason – the Bay Tree (Laurus nobilis).
Bay trees make excellent hedges thanks to their dense, deep green, aromatic foliage that looks great all year round. Bays are hardy growers, capable of withstanding extremes in weather. This makes them ideal for Melbourne garden design, where we experience hot summers and cool winters. Being drought and salt tolerant means they are also an excellent choice for coastal areas.
It is one of the oldest shrubs in cultivation, originating from the Mediterranean. Known commonly for its use in cooking, the bittersweet leaves can be used fresh or dried, imparting their pungent flavour to a variety of dishes and ingredients, making bay a versatile store cupboard ingredient. It’s also one of the few herbs that doesn’t lose its flavour when dried.
Bay trees are slow growing and only need a light trim in summer to keep them in shape. They are available as a ‘Standard’ (pruned into a lollipop shape) as well as ‘Pleached’ (pruned like a hedge growing out of one main stem). They can provide gardens with great design features such as accent plants on either side of an entrance, a pleached hedge along a drive way or along a narrow walkway for ultimate privacy, and simply as we have done so at our Glen Iris garden design project, as a green backdrop or shrub.
Definitely an all rounder that is worth considering in any garden design.