Mazzy's Laurel

Mazzy by her laurrel

I think of laurel as a tremendously worthy yet rather dull plant but through the winter, when all else looks jaded, it's a welcome respite with those big, tough splots of bright, glossy green.

A laurel hedge can be a bit of a brute though, growing upwards and outwards and gradually consuming ever more space, leaving a hidden, dark, woody interior. Time-consuming to trim too, because I never want to just chomp through the leaves with a power tool or even shears.

One year I decided that a laurel would make an attractive alternative Christmas tree. It had escaped from a thuggish hedge at the end of the garden and layered its way into an inappropriate spot in the border. So I potted it up and dragged it indoors.

What looked like a little tree at the end of the garden seemed quite substantial once inside. The baubles and decorations immediately pulled down the leaves, completely obscuring themselves. The leaves also turned out to be more combustible under the glare of fairy lights than pine needles. There was an interesting flurry on Christmas morning as my family arrived to the smell of singed laurel.

A Cyberconversation between Mazzy and Margaret on the subject of laurel and other things