Bay of plenty – the ideal tree to cope with freezing winters

The recent Arctic blast will have cut a swathe through many gardens, killing weak and vulnerable plants. But if you look at it as nature's way of sorting out the wheat from the chaff, then the loss of one or two shrubs will be easier to accept.

If you grow any valuable or loved plants in containers which are just too big or heavy to move into a conservatory or greenhouse, wrap them in horticultural fleece. If you haven't got any, use a few copies of the Yorkshire Post, to keep the worst of the weather at bay,

Speaking of bay... Lauruas nobilis, the lovely, shrubby, glossy-leaved evergreen renowned for its aromatic foliage, is usually grown in a large pot where it can be trimmed and trained, usually into a ball or even a pyramid.

New plants need a bit of protection from our winters but established trees are more than capable of looking after themselves. My own, 20-year-old bay has stood resolutely outside year in year out. This winter, the temperature in the garden dropped as low as -15C and the tree still looks pretty good.

YP MAG 8/1/11