While many garden plants die back well before winter fully sets in, there are many herbs that persist all year (barring a truly deep freeze). If you do live in an area with exceptionally cold weather, some of these plants also do well in containers. If you plant your herb garden in pots, and have a reasonably sunny area to place them, you can bring them indoors for the winter. Here are four herbs that you can grow and harvest year-round.
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): this hardy, spreading perennial has feathery leaves and umbrella-like bunches of tiny white flowers. The leaves and flowers are both edible, and have a fruity, bittersweet aroma. They are very pungent, however, and should be used in moderation. The leaves are lovely in salads, and dried flowers make a comforting, immune-boosting herbal tea.
- Chives (Allium schoenoprasum): while chives may not be able to survive outdoors during the winter, it is very easy to transplant them from the garden to indoor pots. For year-round harvest, after the final fall cutting, dig up as many bulbs as you like and plant them in containers to bring inside. The remaining bulbs can be left in the ground; they will come up again on their own in the spring.
- Bay (Laurus nobilis): because it has tough, woody stems, this sturdy evergreen is not actually an herb. Bay can be grown in containers, and is extremely cold-tolerant, persisting through temperatures as low as 25 degrees. In addition to drying this plant for cooking, fresh bay makes a lovely aromatic addition to bouquets, wreathes, and other arrangements.
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): rosemary actually has its origins in the Mediterranean. However, it is an extremely tough plant that can tolerate sun and shade, and needs little watering. Adult, established plants can survive extended periods of very cold weather, but smaller ones should be well insulated before the first frost.