We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's still Fall Planting Season in the temperate zone. Most of these laurels will not thrive above Zone 7 unless in a shaltered location.
Lots of plants are called "laurel" without being real members of the Lauraceae family. Bay Laurel and Avocado are true laurels.
Our eastern Mountain Laurel, the state plant of CT which grows in dense, impenetrable 20' high thickets on our hills, is not a true laurel. Neither are the Cherry Laurels, which are (strangely) in the family Rosaceae, genus Prunus - same genus as roses, apples, and cherries. (Seems anything can get called "laurel" if it has glossy oval evergreen leaves.)
The Cherry Laurels (Prunus laurocerasus) appear in several forms, subspecies, or cultivars in the US, and few are native to the US. Here are a few of them. I like them for the lush, tropical evergreen appearance, and the birds like them for winter cover and for spring nesting.
Like hybrid Rhodadendrons, Zone 6 is pushing their limit unless they are sheltered, next to a warm building, or near salt water. The southern US is really a better place for them, but I like experimenting. Although they are considered semi-shade or filtered light plants, up here they seem to enjoy plenty of sun.
I have three varieties: the big, upright, fast-growing "Skip" Laurels ('Schipkaensis') which make a great tall (10-15' hedge), a few small hedges of Otto Luyken English Laurel, and a couple of handsome Portuguese Laurels, a compact, slow-growing rounded type with nice red stems. The latter two were produced by Monrovia.
Wonderful plants, all things considered, and a much better bet than trying to make the very picky Mountain Laurel and hybrid Rhodys happy in this neck of the woods. Mountain Laurel, like Blueberry, only grows well where it feels like growing. If they don't like the conditions, they just die, slowly.
Photos: Above: small row of Otto Luykens in from the of the wall, and some tall Skips behind. Left: A Portuguese Laurel, about 5' high.
the front page is loading very slowly. I checked it out with firebug and most of the assets load in 3 seconds. Then another 30 seconds to get what looks to be youtube related stuff. It is bearable on a desktop but unusable on a phone.
You can't do anything about youtube itself, but I thought you should know.
Here in the PNW English laurel is anything but English. In the sun, they are not very polite or charming. Lots of novice gardeners think they’re buying cute little evergreen shrubberies, but quickly find they’re more like keeping elephants as pets. They really are trees.
OTOH... When a family with many children moved in next door to me, soon came many young friends with trampolines and swingsets and many large brightly colored plastic play toys. So I planted. Today I can still hear them playing, back there somewhere, but the children’s junkyard is nowhere to be seen.
Skips do well in the shade for the same purpose.
One early spring morning in my childhood, when one's breath still was visible, my father took me along to a local forest, where he poached a couple of mountain laurels to plant on our property.
The mountain laurels thrived in their new environment. If that was luck or planning on my father's part, I'll never know.
Back in New York rhodos and azalea were welcome explosions of springtime color - but dreary drippers in winter. Rhodos are promoted as evergreens - but their foliage curls up, droops, and goes drab in winter, looking more depressing than if they'd just dropped their leaves.