The bay tree

Having discovered the taste of bay leaves a year or so ago, I have been on the look-out for a bay tree for some time. The issue has been the cost: usually, the trees seem to be sold when they are two or even three feet tall, which undoubtedly explains the £20-40 on the price tag.

However, yesterday I came across a supplier of herb plants, when I was at a garden event being held by the Royal Horticultural Society at Harlow Carr in Harrogate. Garth Cottage Herbs had a diddy tree at a cost of only £4.50. Wonderful!


This tree already has enough leaves to keep us going. In fact, I can’t imagine ever running out if this is what a young tree can provide.

The man who sold me the tree also gave me some advice regarding its maintenance. Not that it appears to be a difficult job. In essence, the tree will survive temperatures down to just above -20°C. It of course needs to be well watered and at the same time there needs to be plenty of drainage. As for pruning, anything goes apparently.

So, now the tree adorns my patio and I hope it will do so for many years to come.

Apart from the excitement of my purchase, I enjoyed looking round the gardens. We do go there on a regular basis, and it being a garden there are always new things to see. And I always notice something new.


This teapot seems to be for making leaf mould. Imagine having one of these in your garden?

Now that I am moving towards having a flower garden as well as a vegetable patch, I also wanted to note the names of the plants that I found particularly attractive. We didn’t have time to do as much of this as I would have liked but here are a couple of specimens:


The bush in the above photo is Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’. I am not sure where I would put this but I will have to find one to buy, in any case. The other plant I was particularly taken with was the Thrift (shown below). I do have lots of rocks in my garden and, although I had not been planning to have a rockery, it would make sense to turn them into an attractive feature with flowers like these.


Anyway, here are some scenic shots of the gardens:







Do you have a favourite garden near you? If so, what is it like?

© Helen Butt, July 2013.


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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6 Responses to The bay tree

  1. Now I want to look for a bay tree too – I wonder if our garden centre carries them.

    • Good luck! It would be interesting to see how prices compare, if you find one.
      Here you can find them in all kinds of stores, from supermarkets to diy outlets as well as garden centres.

  2. That bay tree was a bargain, well done! We had one years ago and managed to kill it somehow. They give such a lovely depth of flavour to soups, stews, etc. yum. The garden photos look lovely – a great place for plant browsing for your garden. I want the teapot!!!

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