Toss the leaves of fragrant Bay Laurel into soups, stews and other dishes, or simply enjoy this pretty ornamental shrub on your windowsill; it adapts nicely to most home conditions. Give this perennial lots of sun and prune it as needed.
Native to the Mediterranean region, the bay tree is widely cultivated as an ornamental there and as a houseplant in colder climates – mainly because it’s an excellent candidate for growing as a topiary. Hardy only to zone 7, it’s ideal for forming low hedges. Although it can grow into a tree up to 40 to 50 feet tall, bay is often maintained as a large shrub in containers. In spring, it puts out small yellow flowers, which by fall develop into dark purple berries.
This bay window provides the perfect spot for a versatile dining area. A velvet-covered banquette gives kids a place to pile in, while stools and a chair can be arranged in infinite variations depending on the crowd.
Classic bay leaf fragrance—and flavor—abounds in Sicilian sweet bay (Laurus nobilis ‘LNSS’). Sunny gold leaves and red stems give this shrub beauty in the landscape or stew pot. Harvest leaves as needed for cooking. Plants thrive in full sun to part shade and are hardy in Zones 8-10. To grow Sicilian Sunshine sweet bay in colder regions, keep it in a pot and stash it in a bright, cool spot for winter.
As seen on HGTV's House Hunters Renovation, homeowners Matthew and Christina Eason, with the help of designer Tracy McCormick, turned the master bedroom suite of their Moorpark, California, home into a spacious retreat with a calm, neutral bay window seating area.
Bay windows can be a design challenge. For Jeanine and Bryan they took the opportunity to carve out both a dining and work area in the bay window. A large round dining table is a perfect fit. On the table, which is perfect for both work and entertaining, a dramatic arrangement of branches towers over a collection of favorite books together with a sculpture from artist Murjoni Merriweather.