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nne facing garden - good or bad?
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# 1
silvertree
Old 17-02-2010, 9:55 AM
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Default nne facing garden - good or bad?

I am considering buying a new build, but the garden is NNE facing. Its a gorgeous house, but I cannot decide how much of an impact having the garden on this side will affect our enjoyment of it. We have small children who love to play out in the daytime and we love to barbeque in summer evenings. Because the house is not yet built, I cannot tell how much sun the garden will actually get. Plus would there be any point in putting a conservatory on this type of house? Anyone else have a NNE facing garden and how do you like it? Thanks.
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# 2
BitterAndTwisted
Old 17-02-2010, 10:14 AM
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It all depends on the size of the garden and the height of the house and enclosing fences, obviously. Expect it to be in full-shade winter and summer
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# 3
sunshinetours
Old 17-02-2010, 10:30 AM
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What size is garden
How tall will house be.
How close are the surrounding houses
is the plot flat or on a slope?
if on a slope does the plot fall away from north to south

All those will affect the amount fo light you would get

Ours is NNE facing but we have a 80ft garden so its only really the back of the house that is affected and a small amount of the garden. The back half of the garden where we have our cabin/patio/BBQ etc gets all day sun all year round (when the sun comes out!)

Ours is also on a reasonable north to south falling slope as we live on a hill. This has the effect of "presenting" the plot towards the south facing sun. I would under no circumstances consider a north facing rear garden that slopes down from the house as it will be very very shady

We also have a conservatory and the nice thing is it doesn't get all day full sun in the summer/early autumn which makes conservatories unbearable. From Spring through mid Autumn we get morning sun in the conservatory which is lovely and also evening sun with partial sun throughout the day.
Conservatories heat up very quickly with the sun and even in ours in summer it does get hot (as well as very cold in the winter)

I would happily choose a north facing garden with all the right circumstances above

Last edited by sunshinetours; 17-02-2010 at 10:32 AM.
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# 4
Mum_of_3
Old 17-02-2010, 10:35 AM
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Our garden is North facing, however is very big so we do get sun on the lawn part of the garden and the Westerly part of the patio. The Easterly part of the patio never gets any sun, due to the shade from the house, so we have put the kid's trampoline & playhouse there.

Our conservatory is North facing too and I prefer it to my Mum's South facing one as ours seems to remain at a constant temperature all year round whereas hers is freezing in the Winter & boiling in the Summer. We do have underfloor heating on during the Winter and this helps it become useable all year round, whereas my Mum only has normal wall hung radiators, which means the tiles are freezing to walk on!

Like BitterAndTwisted & Sunshinetours has said it really depends on the size of the house, size of the garden and lay of the land. My friend's live just up the road from us and have a North facing garden, but because their garden is small compared to the size of the house, they only get the sun when it's end of July/Aug time.

M_o_3

Last edited by Mum_of_3; 17-02-2010 at 10:37 AM.
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# 5
delmar39
Old 17-02-2010, 11:29 AM
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Ditto all of the above.

Weíre currently in a property with a south facing garden and we bought it for this reason. We get the sun pretty much all year round, but obviously more when the sun is higher. Thereís nothing to the west of us, so we get the sun until 8/9pm in the summer before itís blocked out by our house.

Weíre in the process of moving to a new property with a north facing garden booooooooo. However, itís long enough to get some sun and in effect the south facing fence at the back of the garden is our new south facing bit so Iíve put a gravel area down that end so I can sit and barbe there. The westerly facing fence will get the sun later on in the afternoon and evening as will the rear of the property. However, for most of the year the rear of the property will be in the shade as will the easterly border and associated plants.

Itís difficult for you I guess, but you need some time in the property to see where the sun / shade is in order to design your garden around this. Plants will need to be planted accordingly too.

North NE means that you'll get the sun in the morning and it all depends on how high your house is with regards to evening sun.

Judging by your post garden and sun is important to you so you need to be sure. I was out in our garden yesterday with my two year old and because it is south facing and the sun was out it was quite pleasant. Different this time of year in a north or north east facing garden. You could always go out in the front garden of course.

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# 6
mlz1413
Old 17-02-2010, 12:16 PM
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You need to go to the plot and see where the sun rises and sets, then work out the height of the neighbouring housings at those points.

Now is a good time to look at the plot during the day as the sun is much lower than in the summer and so you should be able to see how other houses affect that plot.

Also look at things like the slope of the land, will rain water run away from the house? If your at the bottom of a slope will your garden be wet?

My garden faces east, but as the south is to the open side of the garden I actually get a lot of sun in the garden but very little in the house. So I would also check which way each of your windows face as you may get a lovely sunny house that has the sun at the end of the garden meaning you get a shaded areas in the day which might be better for children playing midday.
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# 7
silvertree
Old 19-02-2010, 8:15 AM
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Thanks to everyone for their posts. Its a tough one as we would be buying off plan so frankly we have no idea how the garden will be affected. Its early days in the decision making process and given that its a house we would want to stay in to bring our children up we have to consider it very seriously! The garden isnt especially large, but its plenty - its about the same plot size as the house, perhaps a little longer.
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# 8
sunshinetours
Old 19-02-2010, 8:53 AM
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If its a small plot then I would seriously consider other houses. A north facing garden the same size as the house will not get much/any sun in the winter because of shadows
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# 9
not_loaded
Old 19-02-2010, 4:33 PM
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There actually isnít much/any sun in the winter.

For garden usability, Iíd say April to September is probably the time to be able to Ďuseí the sun. A neighbour of ours has a large south facing garden plus a big conservatory. The conservatory is unusable in the summer due to excess heat. The garden is dry and almost barren.

As many have already posted, itís the lie of the land and surrounding objects (including your house) that decides where the sun falls.

We get early morning sun, midday sun (excruciatingly hot mid summer) and evening sun. You can easily sit in the sun or the shade most times April to September, so itís certainly worth thinking about whether south facing is all itís cracked up to be.

Good luck with your decision!
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# 10
puddy
Old 19-02-2010, 5:01 PM
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our garden is north facing, ive just checked on google maps and it seems to be nnw. i had never had a garden before this one and i must admit that it was something i worried about, that i was moving somewhere where the garden would be dull.

last summer, we got the sun from late morning onwards, until about 6 or 7 as it got caught behind the shadows of houses to the west, the section right near the house got the sun by afternoon, prior to that it moved up from the back of the garden.

our garden is only 25' long so we placed our patio stuff where we see the sun coming, which seems to be right in the corner near the house.

the winter has been dark, no doubt about it, but the plus side is that the front of the house is very light, the front room is always bright because its south facing.
i also like the fact that the kitchen is at the north side of the house, meaning it doesnt get too hot, cant stand very warm rooms, it also means our bedroom which is at the back, is at the north, again, nice and cool

we knew that we wanted to grow things in the garden, we have just placed things where we know there will be more light, but also i am planning to grow things in the front garden,,, why not!?

not sure if any of this really helps but someone somewhere has to have a north facing garden, otherwise only one side of a street would ever be built!!!
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# 11
Reds-on-Sea
Old 19-02-2010, 5:09 PM
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I agree with sunshinetours. my garden is north facing, but quite long, so part of it doesn't get shaded by the house, if the garden is only the size of your house plot, then I'd seriously consider other properties as it's likely to always be in shade.

Either that or strike a REALLY good deal!
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# 12
JF77
Old 19-02-2010, 5:31 PM
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My last house was built in 1995 and had a small north facing garden. I am glad to be rid of it TBH. You need to consider the space to the sides of it as well. We had an integral garage so only had a paths width at one side and then each neighbours drive so not much sun seeping through.

My new house also has a small north facing garden lol! but it has a garage to the side so sun comes over it. Also has a lovely big secluded front garden where I will be spending most of my garden time!

You can guarantee the builders will be squeezing as many houses in as they can!
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# 13
not_loaded
Old 19-02-2010, 5:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenner View Post
our garden is north facing, ive just checked on google maps and it seems to be nnw. i had never had a garden before this one and i must admit that it was something i worried about, that i was moving somewhere where the garden would be dull.
last summer, we got the sun from late morning onwards, until about 6 or 7 as it got caught behind the shadows of houses to the west, the section right near the house got the sun by afternoon, prior to that it moved up from the back of the garden.
our garden is only 25' long so we placed our patio stuff where we see the sun coming, which seems to be right in the corner near the house.
the winter has been dark, no doubt about it, but the plus side is that the front of the house is very light, the front room is always bright because its south facing.
i also like the fact that the kitchen is at the north side of the house, meaning it doesnt get too hot, cant stand very warm rooms, it also means our bedroom which is at the back, is at the north, again, nice and cool
we knew that we wanted to grow things in the garden, we have just placed things where we know there will be more light, but also i am planning to grow things in the front garden,,, why not!?
not sure if any of this really helps but someone somewhere has to have a north facing garden, otherwise only one side of a street would ever be built!!!
Yep, all very good points!

For growing fruit and veg you really donít want direct scorching sun. Youíll be watering all the time till the hosepipe ban kicks in!
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# 14
puddy
Old 19-02-2010, 6:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not_loaded View Post
Yep, all very good points!

For growing fruit and veg you really don’t want direct scorching sun. You’ll be watering all the time till the hosepipe ban kicks in!
thats a good point, i didnt think of that, the front may be too hot. my plan was to grow things at the front which really need the sun, tomatoes, chillis, blueberries and jerusalem artichokes, although these grow anywhere apparently. im wondering now whether the front is also too hot for my planned herb garden
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# 15
kmmr
Old 19-02-2010, 6:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenner View Post
thats a good point, i didnt think of that, the front may be too hot. my plan was to grow things at the front which really need the sun, tomatoes, chillis, blueberries and jerusalem artichokes, although these grow anywhere apparently. im wondering now whether the front is also too hot for my planned herb garden
Are you buying this house in Madrid? If you are talking about an English house, I don't think all this talk of 'scorching' heat is really a major issue!!
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# 16
Milliewilly
Old 19-02-2010, 6:54 PM
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I would say bad.

My OH wont even consider a house unless it has a south west facing garden.

If you browse rightmove if the garden is SW facing its ALWAYS mentioned in the blurb.
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# 17
not_loaded
Old 20-02-2010, 8:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenner View Post
thats a good point, i didnt think of that, the front may be too hot. my plan was to grow things at the front which really need the sun, tomatoes, chillis, blueberries and jerusalem artichokes, although these grow anywhere apparently. im wondering now whether the front is also too hot for my planned herb garden
You can mulch to retain moisture, and put up trellis or similar to gain some respite from the sun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmmr View Post
Are you buying this house in Madrid? If you are talking about an English house, I don't think all this talk of 'scorching' heat is really a major issue!!
Dunno where you are, but here we get around 8 to 10 weeks per annum (sometimes more) of pretty relentless sun, not enough to sell package hols admittedly, but enough to ruin a water-needing crop.
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# 18
jonewer
Old 20-02-2010, 8:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not_loaded View Post

Dunno where you are, but here we get around 8 to 10 weeks per annum (sometimes more) of pretty relentless sun, not enough to sell package hols admittedly, but enough to ruin a water-needing crop.
Wish to live in the same place you do some time.

Frickin'ell! Even in the south east we only got about 10 days of summer in 2009, and they were faaar between! It must be 2006 since we had a decent summer.
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# 19
Pennylane
Old 20-02-2010, 9:54 PM
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Personally I wouldn't. The first house we ever bought had a N facing garden which was small. We used to get a tiny shaft of sun in the afternoon, which wasn't ideal with kids wanting to play in the sandpit etc.

The kitchen was on the back of the house overlooking garden and that room was always cold too because it never saw the sun.

We were young and it taught us a valuable lesson though. Every house we've had since has had a sunny garden.

Our present house gets the sun all day long and it is warm and bright. Two near neighbours live in north facing cottages & they have very shaded gardens and they never ever see the sun in any window of their homes. I couldn't bear that!
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# 20
not_loaded
Old 21-02-2010, 2:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonewer View Post
Wish to live in the same place you do some time.
Frickin'ell! Even in the south east we only got about 10 days of summer in 2009, and they were faaar between! It must be 2006 since we had a decent summer.
Perhaps we live in a Ďpocketí of good weather. Maybe I should have clarified a bit that the weeks arenít one long spell!

When gardening/working we often sit in the garden in the sun in late Feb/early March. (though not this year yet) April/May brings warmer dryer weeks, and then through to September we may well have to be watering to some degree to keep things going. Thereís nothing quite like fresh home grown vegetables!

Itíd be hard to cope with a fully south facing garden in those circumstances other than to start building shade of various sorts.

Too many people seem to convert their gardens into car parking now unfortunately.

Good luck with your decision silvertree. I think Iíd go for something in between to be honest, and there are obviously a lot more issues than just garden direction to be thinking about.
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