Both topiary standards and large specimen shrubs of bay laurel are grown at The Cloisters. Laurel makes an excellent subject for topiary, but it does have a tendency to sucker from the base, and these shoots must be removed to maintain the form. The foliage is regularly trimmed back to maintain the rounded head. These aromatic, dark green leaves are hard to the touch. When broken, they release a delicious fragrance much prized in the cooking of the Mediterranean. Photograph by Carly Still.