A useful and productive herb garden can be beautiful as well as useful, when you choose some of these attractive flowering herbs.
These are just 25 flowering herbs that you can sow and grow for colourful gardens, and useful culinary or medicinal yields. These flowering herbs not only look pretty. They are also very useful plants while in active growth, and will attract plenty of pollinators and other beneficial insects to your garden.
Angelica archangelica, naturalised in Britain, is an attractive biennial. It grows up to 1.5m in height, forming large umbellifers of pale greenish or white flowers. The plants can self-seed readily, and are great for wildlife friendly gardens. The leaves are edible raw or cooked, with a liquorice flavour. Stalks and young stems are peeled and used like celery, or crystalised for cake toppings. Roots and seeds are also sometimes used for flavouring.
Agastache foeniculum, anise hyssop, and Agastache rugosa, Korean mint, are two other great flowering herbs to consider. These are also attractive ornamentals and great bee-friendly flowers, as well as providing edible yields for salads or teas. Their leaves have an aniseed-like flavour, the former more delicate than the latter.
Bergamot/ Bee Balm
Monarda didyma, bergamot, is well known as a herb for herbal teas. As its other name suggests, it is also fantastic for pollinators in your garden. And with its dramatic bright pink or red flowers, it is also a great ornamental addition. It also goes by many other names, including Oswego tea, mountain mint, etc..
Borage is an excellent self-seeder and wonderful for growing in a herb garden, in a bed or border, or in amongst the fruits and vegetables in your kitchen garden. It has beautiful blue flowers which impart a cucumber-like taste to drinks or salads. It produces prodigious amounts of nectar for bees and other pollinators.
Catnip is, of course, intoxicating to felines. But it can also be a beautiful addition to your garden. Nepeta catarina can also be a useful herb, with edible mint-like leaves which give it another of its common names, catmint. These can be used to make a herbal tea, and also have medicinal properties.
Chamomile is known for making a relaxing tea with mild soporific effect. But the daisy-like flowers can also look very pretty and bring some cherry colour to your garden.
Chives may look like blades of grass at first. But when they flower they really enliven your garden. Like other alliums, they bear globes of tiny flowers. These little purple pompoms look lovely and also attract beneficial pollinators. While the smell of the plants may help to repel certain pest species.
Comfrey is a well known plant amongst organic gardeners. It is often used to chop and drop in perennial planting schemes. And to mulch, add to the compost heap, or to make a liquid plant feed. But leave it to flower and it is also a very pretty plant, with pinkish, purple or white flowers which pollinators love. Comfrey is also commonly used in herbal medicine, externally, to speed up the healing process.
Dill is another common culinary herb which can bring colour to your garden when allowed to bloom. It has broad umbels of tiny yellow flowers through the summer months. Of course, dill is useful in the kitchen, with its mild aniseed flavour.
Dittany, Dictamnus albus, is a less well known flowering herb, but it has a long history of use in herbal medicine. It is also known as burning bush. A lemon fragranced tea can be made from its dried leaves. Though caution is advised and the plant can be toxic on contact. It gives off a flammable essential oil in hot weather which gives it its common name. Flowers can be pinkish or white in hue and can be dried.
Echinacea is a well known medicinal herb and also an attractive flowering plant often grown for itd ornamental appeal. The big, bold purple flowers can bring a splash of vibrant colour to your herb garden.
Feverfew is another daisy-like plant that can look very cheerful in a garden. Tanacetum parthenium is used to make teas, and dried flowers are sometimes used for flavouring in pastries. It is also a well known medicinal herb with a range of applications.
Germanders, various Teuchrium, can have medicinal herbal application, and can look very pretty in your garden. They can have a range of colourful blue, lavender or pinkish flowers.
Hyssopus officinalis is another herb that is extremely useful both for us and for wildlife. It is also a very attractive plant, with spires of purple/blue flowers. The flavour of the pot herb is something akin to a cross between mint and sage. It also has a range of other uses in the garden and inside your home.
Lavender is perhaps one of the best known and best loved flowering herbs, and with good reason. It produces an abundance of fragrant purple flowers in summer, which many insects, and people, can enjoy. It has a range of uses in the garden and in the home.
Sweet Marjoram, Origanum majorum, and hardy marjoram, Origanum x majoricum are other culinary herbs which is also attractive and colourful when in flower. (Not to be confused with pot marjoram, or oregano, which is also, however, included on this list.)
There are a huge range of mints that you could grow in your garden – not just for their flavour (and pest repelling properties as a companion plant) but also for their pretty flowers. While this can be beneficial in places, just be warned that mints can have a tendency to spread prolifically and take over if you give them the chance.
Oregano, Origanum vulgare, is also known as pot marjoram, which leads to some confusion over these herbs. But like the marjorams listed above, this common culinary and medicinal herb also has pretty flowers that make for colourful gardens.
Polemonium (Jacob’s Ladder)
Polemonium, commonly known as Jacob’s ladder, is most commonly grown as an ornamental plant. But it actually has a long history of use as a medicinal herb too. It has pretty purple/blue flowers.
Rosemary may not always bloom successfully if not given optimal growing conditions. But when it does, the flowers are stunning. These blue/purple blooms stand out against the dark green needle-like foliage and look lovely in a herb garden.
The young leaves and shoots of Sanguisorba minor are best harvested for culinary use before the plants come into flower. But leaving the plants to flower brings benefits for wildlife, and can also add a bit more colour to your herb garden with their bring pink pigment. Great burnet can have even more impact, and can also be used for culinary or medicinal purposes.
From common garden sage, to Salvia elegans (pineapple sage), a wide range of Salvias are also useful herbs and attractive ornamental plants, with bring blooms which bring splashes of vibrant colour to your garden.
Many different thymes can also be very attractive, as well as very useful flowering herbs. Their white or purple flowers can look wonderful alongside many of the other flowers mentioned on this list. And of course, like so many others on this list, thyme is great for people and for the pollinators and other wildlife in your garden.
Verbena, or vervain, is another herb with attractive flowers. The leaves can be used for tea, and the flowers themselves are sometimes used as a garnish. Verbena officinalis also has a range of medicinal uses.
Yarrow is another medicinal herb with very pretty flowers, in white or pinkish hues which are in flower from June through to August and sometimes even beyond. Yarrow is widely used in herbal medicine and has a good reputation for dealing with wounds, and a wide range of ailments.
There are plenty of attractive flowering herbs to grow for colourful gardens and the above is just a small number of the many plants you could grow. But the above list should give you some ideas, and a place to start when planning and planting your colourful herb garden.