Seasonal Seasoning

“Seasonal Seasonings”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Because our property has so many tall pine trees which makes most of the area, at best, partial shade, I do not grow many edibles.  The few, that are grown, are in containers usually on the patio where there is more sun.  One of the best I have grown is the bay leaf.

I started out with just a seven inch plant and now the tree is about three feet tall.  An evergreen, it is now just about the right size to start adding a little something to the garden.  This culinary plant is an easy to grow but slow growing tree which eventually can reach up to 40 feet tall.  I remember a neighbor of my parents had one and that tree must have been at least 2o feet tall.  I think it will take my little guy a long time to reach that height at the rate it is growing now.

 

bay-leaf-tree-crop-redu

 

 

I have plans to keep it pruned to shrub size.  These plants take very well to pruning which is done in the spring.  Of course, taking some leaves for cooking is also a form of pruning.  It is recommended that for the first two years that leaves be taken only sparingly.

 

These plants grow well in containers.  Mine is still in a container, and I am still trying to decide if I want to plant it in the ground or not.  I am thinking this would look nice in an urn shaped planter.  That way, it would be easier to keep it pruned to a pyramid shape.  It would also be more accessible to the kitchen if it was in a container.

 

The Bay Laurel makes a great addition to cooking as well as the garden.  Many culinary herbs are not the most attractive plants, but the Bay Leaf’s  beautiful, shiny, dark green leaves makes it a handsome addition to the garden.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Racquel said,

    November 23, 2008 at 8:22 am

    That would be a tree I would want in my garden. I love bayleaf for seasoning everything from soups to stews and so on. Wonder if it is hardy in my area, probably not.

  2. Jan said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Racquel, it is hardy through zone 7, but it can be kept in a container and brought in during very cold months. It will take partial shade, so the time indoors shouldn’t hurt it. It is great to just walk outside and snip a few leaves when needed.

  3. tina said,

    November 23, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    What a great plant. Looks like you are doing very well with it.

  4. Brenda Kula said,

    November 23, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Oh, I do like the deep shade of green! It would complement so many other container plants!
    Brenda

  5. Jan said,

    November 23, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Tina, this is a great looking plant, and being an herb I use often is a bonus. It does seem to be growing a little faster the last year or two, so it must be happy where it is.

    Brenda, you are right. It really does complement other plants esp. since we seem to be using so many chartreuse and variegated plants now.

  6. Alex said,

    November 23, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    You definitely have a green thumb! You’ll have to keep us posted on your tree! 🙂 Hope you had a good weekend.

  7. Jan said,

    November 23, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks, Alexandra. This was a good weekend – celebrated darling daugther’s birthday.

  8. November 23, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Did you say zone 7, Jan? That’s very heartening! I’ve also got a Bay in a container on the patio – had it on a windowsill in Illinois. I’ve had it next to the house wall for warmth since it got too big to drag in and out in winter. Maybe I’ve been acting like an overprotective mother?

    You are so right about the pretty leaves!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  9. November 24, 2008 at 4:54 am

    Hi Jan, I love the bush and the taste and the fragrant smell of Bay Laurel but I always end up killing my Bay Laurel I don’t know how and why 😦 Tyra

  10. Jan said,

    November 24, 2008 at 5:33 am

    Tyra, that’s a shame. This is such a great plant both for the garden and the kitchen.


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