Horticulture Magazine

25 Flowering Herbs For Colourful & Aromatic Gardens

vibrant purple lavender in a field

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 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.

1) Angelica

umbels of white and cream angelica flowers
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Angelica archangelica
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

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, while the roots and seeds are also sometimes used for flavouring.

2) Agastache

erect purple flowers of Agastache foeniculum
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Agastache
  • HARDINESS RATING: H3
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN

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.

3) Bergamot / Bee Balm

scarlet bee balm flowers with foxgloves in the background
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Monarda didyma
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

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 and more.

4) Borage

blue star-shaped flowers of Borago officinalis
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Borago officinalis
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

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.

5) Catnip

catnip herbs growing in the garden
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Nepeta Cataria
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN

Catnip is, of course, intoxicating to felines, but it can also be a beautiful addition to your garden.

Nepeta cataria can also be a useful herb, with edible mint-like leaves which give it another of its common names: catmint. [source]

6) Chamomile

daisy-like yellow and white chamomile flowers in the morning sun
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Chamaemelum nobile
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

Chamomile is known for making a relaxing tea. [source]

But the daisy-like flowers can also look very pretty and bring some cherry colour to your garden.

7) Chives

chives with pink flowering heads
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Allium schoenoprasum
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

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. [source]

8) Comfrey

purple comfrey flowers in focus
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Symphytum officinale
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER

Comfrey is a well-known plant amongst organic gardeners.

It is often used to chop and drop in perennial planting schemes.

Other uses include mulch, adding to the compost heap, or making a liquid plant feed. [source]

But leave it to flower and it is also a very pretty plant, with pinkish, purple or white flowers which pollinators love.

9) Dill

umbels of yellow dill
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Anethum graveolens
  • HARDINESS RATING: H4
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

Dill is another common culinary herb that 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.

10) Dittany

pink flowers of Dictamnus albus
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Dictamnus albus
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

Dittany, Dictamnus albus, is a less well known flowering herb which is also known as burning bush.

A lemon fragranced tea can be made from its dried leaves.

Flowers can be pinkish or white in hue and can be dried.

11) Echinacea

tall pink Echinacea flowers
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Echinacea purpurea
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN

Echinacea is a well-known herb and also an attractive flowering plant often grown for its ornamental appeal.

The big, bold purple flowers can bring a splash of vibrant colour to your herb garden.

12) Feverfew

large number of Tanacetum parthenium flowers
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Tanacetum parthenium
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

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. [source]

13) Germander

blue and yellow germander speedwell
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Veronica chamaedrys
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER

Germanders, various Teuchrium, can look very pretty in your garden.

They can have a range of colourful blue, lavender or pinkish flowers.

14) Hyssop

purple flowers of Hyssopus officinalis
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Hyssopus officinalis
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN

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.

15) Lavender

purple lavender herbs
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Lavandula angustifolia
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

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.

16) Marjoram

flowering sweet marjoram
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Origanum majorana
  • HARDINESS RATING: H3
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

Sweet Marjoram, Origanum majorum, and hardy marjoram, Origanum x majoricum are other culinary herbs which are also attractive and colourful when in flower.

Not to be confused with pot marjoram, or oregano, which is also included on this list.

17) Mints

white flowering mint
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Mentha
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

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 mint plants have a tendency to spread prolifically and take over if you give them the chance.

18) Oregano

pink flowers of oregano plant up close
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Origanum vulgare
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN

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 herb also has pretty flowers that make for colourful gardens.

19) Polemonium (Jacob’s Ladder)

a single purple Polemonium flower up close
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Polemonium caeruleum
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

Polemonium, commonly known as Jacob’s ladder, is most commonly grown as an ornamental plant which has pretty purple/blue flowers.

20) Rosemary

a butterfly sat on rosemary plant
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Salvia rosmarinus
  • HARDINESS RATING: H4
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER

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.

21) Salad Burnet

Sanguisorba minor
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Sanguisorba minor
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN

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 bright pink pigment. [source]

Great burnet can have even more impact, and can also be used for culinary purposes.

22) Salvias

Salvia elegans blooming in red
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Salvia
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

From common garden sage, to Salvia elegans (pineapple sage) – a wide range of Salvias are also useful herbs and attractive ornamental plants – which bring blooms and splashes of vibrant colour to your garden.

23) Thymes

flowering thyme
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Thymus vulgaris
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

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.

24) Verbena

multiple bumblebees pollinate purple vervain herbs
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Verbena bonariensis
  • HARDINESS RATING: H4
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN

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.

25. Yarrow

white flowers of yarrow plant
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Achillea millefolium
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

Yarrow is another herb with very pretty flowers, in white or pinkish hues which are in flower from June through to August and sometimes even beyond.

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.

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