Name: Laurus nobilis aka bay laurel
Type of Plant: This evergreen tree, native to the Mediterranean, is most popular for the bay leaves that we use in cooking. Those who live in Zone 8 – 10 can grow this slow-growing tree in their gardens where they can get quite tall and wide. But in cooler climates, we grow bay laurel in pots.
Why I Love This Plant: I love this plant for the fragrant leaves that I cook with. But I also love it because it’s easy to grow in a pot, and if you have the space to over-winter it, you can raise a sizeable plant!
I also enjoy using the stems of bay laurel in arrangements and bouquets. They are perfect when used with other evergreens in oasis for indoor or outdoor displays, and I love including them in small give-away-bouquets at any time of the year.
Make a small bunch of bay stems, tie it with a ribbon and fasten that to any gift – a bottle of wine, a plate of something home baked, or any small present – for the holidays or beyond.
A Word to the Wise: If you are over-wintering bay trees indoors, do so in the coolest location that you have. Cool is more important than direct sun, since in a sunny, warmer spot these plants are prone to scale. But in a colder location you won’t have to fight scale and the sticky droppings that this insect brings.