Feeling as low as the winter temperatures? Boost your mood by interacting with nature and getting into the garden with these winter-friendly ideas.

Add some winter colour

When everything around you feels gloomy and grey, a pop of colour is a quick way to boost your mood. That’s where winter annuals come in. These blooms remain bright even when temperatures drop and are incredibly easy to grow.

When the perennial stalwarts of your garden die down and don’t look as good as they usually do, plants like snapdragons, sweet alyssum, Iceland poppies and petunias will save the day.

Get active in the edible garden

Getting outdoors, even when temperatures are low, is an essential part of combating the winter blues. Being outside and interacting with nature is scientifically proven to improve mental health and well-being, especially during months when we spend much more time indoors.

Vegetables to plant in Autumn


To keep up the gardening activity, spend some time in your vegetable garden with seasonal produce like brassicas, carrots, leeks and beetroot. As a bonus, these nutrient-packed veggies make great winter recipes and help you fight winter colds.

Grow houseplants

If you don’t have any outdoor garden space (or simply aren’t ready to head outside in sub-zero temperatures), houseplants are your answer.

Keeping plants indoors comes with the same mood-boosting benefits as heading outside. But as an added bonus, you’ll be surrounded by your houseplants all the time, along with your indoor comforts. Choose plants with pops of colour such as anthuriums for an extra lift.

Start an indoor herb garden

Vegetables and fruits are notoriously difficult to grow indoors successfully. But there is one group of edibles you can grow inside with little effort – herbs.

Cutting Fresh Sage


As long as you have a sunny windowsill to place the plants on (or a set of indoor grow lights if you don’t), you can grow lush herbs even in the height of winter. Rosemary and thyme are hardy choices that pair well with winter dishes, although they do need plenty of direct sunlight to grow well indoors.

Treat yourself to fresh flowers

When the flowers are lacking in your own garden, treat yourself to a bouquet of fresh flowers from your local florist. Seeing colourful flowers can stimulate positive emotions and improve your overall mood while also improving the freshness of your home.

The scent of flowers has been shown to have a calming effect on the mind and can reduce stress levels. Keep them fresh by feeding with flower food and keeping them out of direct sunlight.

flowers to grow in your cut garden


Sow seeds indoors

Later in the winter season, get a head start on spring growing by sowing seeds indoors. Around 4-6 weeks before you plan on planting in spring, grab a heating mat and some grow lights and sow your seeds in trays inside.

Not only does this extend your season by getting your seedlings in the ground as soon as possible, but it also allows you to get your hands dirty and let off some gardening steam without bracing the cold.

Winter garden activities 2 (1)


Visit your local nursery

To get your creative juices flowing, there’s nothing better than strolling through your local nursery. Whether you’re looking for new ideas or want to spend a day out in nature, nurseries are the place to be.

As fewer people garden in the winter months, the extra support during these down times will be a great benefit to your favourite garden destination.

Plan new garden projects

Once you’ve got some new ideas from your local nursery visit, put them to good use by planning your spring garden. Drumming up excitement for new projects will help you look forward to spring and makes you more organised in the process.



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Feature image: Pexels

A version of this article was published in the Garden&Home June 2023 print magazine.