Are you planning for the bay tree to be the overstory?
My current sad little tree in Hamburg is now about two feet tall, from one foot tall. I want to keep it as a small shrub, so should it ever look other than sickly I'll keep it hard pruned. I just planted some hostas around it to protect it from encroaching grass. Otherwise it's in partial shade from hazelnuts and there are a number of raspberries in the area.
My experience in Seattle was that, height-uncontrolled, it became a tall handsome tree. It would prefer to be bush-shaped, and it will sucker madly, so if you want to plant underneath it you should expect to prune it into shape, which it accepts easily. It throws a really deep shade, though. So maybe it would be better as an understory tree or bush layer. Also, YMMV, but there are only so many bay leaves I can cook with in a lifetime. I have heard that Penzey's Spices uses bay leaves as packing material, so that's another fine use. Are there other functions you're expecting to get from it?
Yeah, but does being a ninja come with a dental plan? And what about this tiny ad?