Despite what some people might think, there are no breaks for gardeners, not even in winter. As the season changes and winter soon starts to set in, the colder months offer a unique opportunity to cultivate a vibrant flower and herb garden.

Plant these cool-season flowers and herbs to brighten up your winter garden.


Sweet peas

Fragrant flowers in shades of pink, purple and white are a popular choice for winter planting. They can be grown from seed, adding a lovely scent to your garden.

Sweet Peas



Known for their delicate and fragrant blooms, which come in shades of pink, red, purple and white. They can thrive in both sun and shade, making them versatile flowers.


Compact, colourful flowers that are great for planting in containers or garden beds. They come in a range of colours and can tolerate cooler temperatures without trouble.

Iceland poppies

Delicate, papery petals that come in shades of yellow, orange, pink and white. They prefer cool temperatures and add a beautiful touch to your winter garden.

Iceland poppies


Read more: Xeriscaping: A sustainable solution for water conservation



Thyme is a resilient herb that thrives in cooler temperatures, making it perfect for winter cultivation. Its delicate leaves add a savoury touch to soups, stews, and roasted vegetables. Plant thyme in well-drained soil and place it in a sunny spot indoors, such as a windowsill. Water sparingly, as thyme prefers drier conditions.


Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow during winter. These slender, onion-flavoured stalks add a burst of freshness to salads, omeletts, and creamy soups. Plant chive bulbs in a pot filled with nutrient-rich soil and place them in a sunny location. Regular trimming encourages new growth, ensuring a steady supply of flavourful chives throughout the season.


With its woody stems and aromatic needles, rosemary is a versatile herb that can easily withstand chilly temperatures. Known for its robust flavour, rosemary enhances everything from roasted meats to baked potatoes. Plant rosemary in a well-draining pot and position it in a sunny area. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

Winter herbs and flowers to plant



Despite its reputation for spreading rapidly, mint can be successfully grown during winter with proper care. This refreshing herb adds a pop of flavour to beverages, desserts, and savoury dishes alike. Plant mint in a pot with ample drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Place it in a bright, sunny location and water regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm, with its citrusy scent and delicate leaves, is a delightful addition to any herb garden. This herb is known for its calming properties and bright flavour, making it a perfect choice for teas, cocktails, and desserts. Plant lemon balm in well-drained soil and place it in a sunny spot. Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.


Sage is a hardy herb that thrives in cooler temperatures, making it well-suited for winter cultivation. Its earthy flavour pairs beautifully with roasted meats, stuffing, and hearty winter soups. Plant sage in a pot with good drainage and position it in a sunny window. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot.

ALSO SEE: Winterproof your garden: 6 key strategies for resilience

Winterproof your garden: 6 key strategies for resilience

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

Feature image: Unsplash