Bay Tree

IMG_0001-001I’ve had a bay tree in a pot for forever – or a good decade anyway. The pot was small and the tree was small (I’m sure this is no coincidence). That little tree somehow survived neglect by me, total neglect by my tenants and, as I now realise, pretty much no soil.

Because of a sudden surfeit of pots (both Deb and Anne have given me numerous large pots) I’ve been looking at my plants with an eye to transplanting them. If it weren’t for this my little bay tree probably would have struggled on as it was for another decade. Instead, it has a new home in a beautiful terracotta pot with inches of soil to spread its roots into.

This pot just shouted Mediterranean to me. Where else should a Mediterranean tree grow but in a Mediterranean pot? Oh right, in the ground. For whatever reason I treat this tree more as a herb. Probably because of the way the leaves are used in cooking.

Yes, that’s a chicken sunbathing in the foreground. I just love it when they do that; they spread their wings, fluff their tail and nap in the sun. Rosie couldn’t have been cold when this picture was taken (it was 27 C) so I can only assume sunbathing’s part of their grooming ritual – does the sun kill mites?


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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15 Responses to Bay Tree

  1. I love their grooming ritual. The first time you see a chicken do this it does give a bit of a scare, doesn’t it.

    • It does. The first time I saw it I was sitting near them and Bronwyn came over and collapsed on my foot with her wing spread out. I thought she was injured so I watched her carefully and then the other 2 joined in. I decided there was no such thing as a group broken wing and so deduced it was part of their grooming ritual. Very odd looking.

  2. Linda says:

    Love that pot! I’ve been dying to grow a bay tree for a couple years, but I just can’t find the room for it. Sounds like they’re awfully hardy though!

    • This one certainly is hardy. But that could mean they are really difficult to grow in any other garden. I seem to have a knack growing things others can’t and I find it impossible to grow things others almost call weeds they grow so prolifically (I have never ever gotten dill to grow)!

      • Linda says:

        I have trouble with dill in a pot…it stays very small because of it’s long taproot. Isn’t even worth growing in a pot. I’ve been pretty lucky with a few plants…I put my lemon tree in a pot that was way too big (we can barely move it) and I still haven’t purchased citrus fertilizer. I’ve done everything that I’ve read NOT to do, but it’s got two lemons and is covered in buds!

  3. I have a couple bay trees in pots that I potted up from babies in the garden but they are not really growing well. I also gave similar to family members in the UK who planted in similar pots and who now have much healthier specimens. I think they prefer the rain and moist weather in the UK if they are forced to grow in pots.

    • I try to water mine pretty often but it’s hard in pots to keep the soil moist when the sun is blasting. You might be right, they like the Mediterranean climate in the ground but in pots they may need a bit of a softer environment.

  4. It screams Mediterranean, all over the place! I love it though! I’ve never before seen a chicken sunbathing like that on its back. They usually run quite fast when I go anywhere near them.

    -Samudaworth Tree Service

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