Always green and beautiful
Shiny green, regal shape. Laurus nobilis is better known as bay laurel, and lives up to its name. This evergreen shrub that originates from the Mediterranean brings calm and cool to the garden. It is the ideal plant for creating a hedge. The plants are also available in attractive shapes that make a real feature in pots and containers on a patio or balcony. Bay laurel is also well-suited to creative inspiration, and can be trimmed into a globe, cone, square or a standard tree. Yet its greatest beauty lies in the natural bush shape.
If you prune the profusion of foliage back a little from time to time, you will have a green friend for life.
Bay laurels can live over 100 years!
Bay laurel blooms with white flowers which appear as umbels in the leaf axils and later become oval berries. The woody shrub can be easily trained and clipped. If left to its own devices, it will become a rich and rugged beauty. This plant's strongest point is its foliage. The leaves are beautifully oval and dark green, with a light vein which appears on the leaf like a feather. It has real staying power in the garden. Under ideal conditions, bay laurels can live over a hundred years.
In the wild, bay laurel grows primarily in the eastern Mediterranean region in countries such as Turkey and Greece, but also further east, such as Georgia, Iran and Iraq. Here the tree can reach a height of 18 metres. Bay laurel has long been part of the earth's ecosystem. Remains of its ancestors have been found in soil layers 5.3 billion years old.
● Bay laurel symbolises victory and triumph. In the past heroes were given a wreath made of laurel leaves.
● Titles such as baccalaureate and poet laureate are derived from the bay laurel's symbolism.
● 'To rest on one's laurels' means to enjoy the luxury of doing nothing. This is also used ironically about people who could make a bit more of an effort.
● Bay leaves lend a delicious flavour to goulash, stew, soups and casseroles. The leaves are always fished out of the pan before serving (they remain hard and are not nice to eat).
● Bay leaves are part of the classic 'bouquet garni', a bunch of herbs made up of 2 sprigs of parsley, 1 sprig of thyme and 1 bay leaf.
● Bay leaves are used in medication for respiratory infections, mouth ulcers and sore throats.
● Bay leaves in massage oil help in the treatment of rheumatic complaints, and as aromatherapy for earache.
● Mice do not like the smell of bay laurel. If you are bothered by these pests, scatter bay leaves in your grocery cupboard.