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    • ABN
    • By ABN 15th Jan 09, 12:27 AM
    • 254Posts
    • 92Thanks
    North Facing Garden how bad are they?
    • #1
    • 15th Jan 09, 12:27 AM
    North Facing Garden how bad are they? 15th Jan 09 at 12:27 AM
    Looking at buying a property which has a North facing garden. All places I've lived in thus far have had south or south west facing gardens so have always benefited from nice a sunny garden, therefore no experience of a north facing garden.

    Was wondering what the drawbacks of having a north facing garden are and how bad are they.

    On the plus side it does overlook open pasture land. Unfortunately the previous owner swapped some of his side garden for part that pasture land. From what I understand we will not be able do utilise that part of the garden for “normal” garden purposes, and will therefore only really be able to “landscape” or use as a normal garden that part which is closest to the house.

Page 1
    • Sonofa
    • By Sonofa 15th Jan 09, 12:59 AM
    • 288 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 09, 12:59 AM
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 09, 12:59 AM
    Given the last two summers we've had this is probably a moot point anyway.

    I don't own a compass and have lived in the same house for 16 years, and yet, could not tell you which direction my garden faces if my life depended on it.

    If it bothers you so much just knock the house down and enjoy guaranteed sunshine whatever the direction.<insert 'I'm being obtuse' smilie here>
    • david29dpo
    • By david29dpo 15th Jan 09, 7:51 AM
    • 3,665 Posts
    • 1,387 Thanks
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 09, 7:51 AM
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 09, 7:51 AM
    Having had a south facing garden for the last 14 years, i couldn't cope with a north facing one. Only you can decide on this one.
  • ramellous1
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 09, 8:00 AM
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 09, 8:00 AM
    We moved into a house with NFG this summer. Our lounge with patio doors is at the back of the house so it suits us cos it would be very hot if it was south facing. The garden is 10x10 mtrs and in the summer it was in the sun up to about 4mtrs off the back of the house in the middle of the day and all of it was late afternoon/evening. So I was suprised how much sun it got. Also we have very young kids and I like that they can get some shade in the hottest part of the day when out playing there.
    Last edited by ramellous1; 15-01-2009 at 8:02 AM.
  • MenstrieBen
    • #5
    • 15th Jan 09, 8:00 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Jan 09, 8:00 AM
    we have a north facing garden - not too bad in the summer as the sun is high enough to come in over the house and reach most of it

    come winter though its a different story

    tips would be using a grass mix for a shady lawn if trying to establish a lawn which worked a lot better than our first attempt.
    making sure it is free draining soil as if its clayey without the sun for some evaporation it can quickly become waterlogged
    pick plants that dont need a lot of sun.

    the trade off is that the front of the house is very sunny and so are most of the rooms we use day to day so i'm happy enough with it
  • poppysarah
    • #6
    • 15th Jan 09, 9:21 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Jan 09, 9:21 AM
    If you want to "garden" then you'll not be able to grow lots of fruit and things - they need sunshine and lots of it.
    • Greatgimp
    • By Greatgimp 15th Jan 09, 9:28 AM
    • 823 Posts
    • 916 Thanks
    • #7
    • 15th Jan 09, 9:28 AM
    • #7
    • 15th Jan 09, 9:28 AM
    A fair amount of algae gathers on the north side of my garden as it's constantly in the shade, specially nearest the house - slimey wheelie bins, patio etc. Moss on the lawn can be a bit of a problem if not treated routinely.
    The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 15th Jan 09, 9:57 AM
    • 37,130 Posts
    • 156,355 Thanks
    • #8
    • 15th Jan 09, 9:57 AM
    • #8
    • 15th Jan 09, 9:57 AM
    We moved from SFG to NFG. The main difference is that the sun doesn't make the room at the back of the house boiling hot in the Summer. The garden still gets sun except for a small area of the patio; to be honest its nice to have aa bit of shade.

    In the winter we noticed the back of the house did get cold, though we have solid stone walls. Since we replaced the double glazing it is not so noticable.
  • WaveyDave
    • #9
    • 15th Jan 09, 10:52 AM
    • #9
    • 15th Jan 09, 10:52 AM
    My last house faced North East. It was ok in the morning, as the sun would hit the back of the house. Didn't last for too long though, even in the summer. By the time 2.00 roled around, it was in the shade. Did have the advantage of keeping the back of the house cooler in the evening though.

    I now have a South facing garden, and I much prefer it. Its nice to be able to sit out in the sunshine until late in the evening.
  • katkim
    It does make a difference, particularly if you want to grow fruit or veg and flowers. It tends to be a couple of degrees colder on an average day. Luckily we have a long thin garden and we can utilise the far end, but nothing except moss and the hardiest plants and shrubs survive nearer the house.

    And you're right, your neighbour can't landscape or put any climbing frames or swings etc on the pasture unless he gets planning permission for it. The pasture land isn't designated as 'residential' and so he can't use it as such. Looks like your views are safe
  • Pyewacket338
    The biggest problem I have with a north facing garden is how quickly my footpath at the back "greens" up, it seems to need power-washing every 4 weeks.
    I used to have a south facing garden, the conservatory was unusable on hot summers days, at least now I have some shade to sit in........ although it seems like a long long time ago when we last had hot sunshine!!!!!
    • ABN
    • By ABN 15th Jan 09, 1:55 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 92 Thanks
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    Just to give a little more detail. The property is a semi in a rural setting and approached via a long shared drive. The !!!8220;front of the property faces east, the rear of the property faces west and the side of the property faces north.

    Its this side that has the view and due to the layout means that effectively this would be considered as the back garden.

    The ground floor extends about 4ft beyond the top floor, this part currently has a gabled roof? To me what the property is saying is that this part should be made into a baloney with the 2 bedrooms on this side having patio doors opening onto it. Thus maximising the views from the bedrooms.

    The garden slopes gently down towards the pasture. This is saying to me that the ground floor should be terraced with a largish flat patio area and large patio doors opening onto it.

    Spreading out sideways tall hedges with arched opening thus separating this from the other 2 parts. Looking back from the pasture land to the house should be impressive.

    Have a feeling that from the replies thus far being north facing would negate all these ideas. Perhaps why the last owners didn!!!8217;t do it.

    @katkim The last owner swapped his side for the pasture land. So that land would now belong to us. Being unusable is a negative but not sure what we would want to do with it anyway because of the view.
    • olly300
    • By olly300 15th Jan 09, 2:13 PM
    • 14,314 Posts
    • 13,632 Thanks

    Have a feeling that from the replies thus far being north facing would negate all these ideas. Perhaps why the last owners didn’t do it.
    Originally posted by ABN
    Not necessarily. It depends on the size of your garden and the number of trees surrounding it.

    If you don't have that many trees and the garden is large you will have enough light to sit out comfortably in the summer so the patio would be a good idea. I have friends with a large North facing garden and it's pleasant to sit in when it's hot as it doesn't get direct sunlight making you hot. However they can't grow veg in their back garden so have to grow it out in the front garden which is South facing.

    Myself I have a West facing garden which means when it's really hot in summer evenings it can be unpleasant to sit out in due to direct sunlight.

    However you need to also appreciate that depending on where the windows in your rooms face the front (East facing) rooms will be cooler and dark after about mid-day in summer and the back of the house won't really get proper light until then.
  • Pyewacket338
    My garden is surrounded by high trees, even though it's north facing, the majority of it gets full sun in summer, the house doesn't cast a huge shadow when the sun is high.
    Sounds like the house your looking at gets sun on the front in the morning, the garden will have sun during the afternoon and late evening and you have a nice shaded area to sit during the hot summer days........ sounds ideal! Just because a terrace doesn't get full sun isn't a reason to stop using it, just sitting out with a cool drink and amazing views would do it for me!
    • hethmar
    • By hethmar 15th Jan 09, 2:29 PM
    • 10,396 Posts
    • 9,828 Thanks
    Our rear garden is north west - most of the time its brilliant as we have sun coming up from the south and yet shaded areas. The only draw back is the rooms at the back of the house can be dark. We have built an extension and with this in mind we added 4 roof windows and 2 patio doors they are wonderful - the room is light all year round now and its great to sit in there and look up at the stars in the evening.

    If you love the house and dont mind having part of your patio green on a frequent basis - I dont see it should worry you that much.

    Would add re garden plans, our garden is very large and we have 3 distinct areas, the large patio, the well used garden and then through old church gates the end garden which we have kept as natural pasture with natural pond and wild flower seeds planted - its fab. You will soon work out which plants grow best - we like a wilderness - you may like clipped lawns - but Im sure you will work out the best way. We also have a lot of fruit trees which overwhelm us with stuff every year (including grape vines and figs)
    Last edited by hethmar; 15-01-2009 at 2:36 PM.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 15th Jan 09, 4:24 PM
    • 37,130 Posts
    • 156,355 Thanks
    We have a balcony looking out on NFG. It gets the sun when the patio (below it) is in the shade.
  • Sulli
    We are in a similar position. We have a house with a long (100 ft) rear garden that faces south-east. It gets the sun most of the day, however in the evening it's primarily the bottom of the garden that gets the sun.

    We are looking to move and have seen a house that's ideal in lots of ways, but it has a north west facing rear garden (around 80ft), so I am assuming that the house will block the sun to the garden until probably early afternoon, but the rear of the house should have sun in the evening. I do have a feeling, looking back to our viewing of the property, that the garden maybe rises from the rear of the house which may help.

    Anyone with experience of a house facing this way? I think it may be an issue, my wife on the otherhand.....loves the house ..........
  • sonnythecat
    I'm an obsessive gardener and have a garden facing due north.

    imho, if the garden is small (say, 40ft or less) it would be a little bit of an issue. If the garden is large/long, on the other hand (say, 100ft) then it doesn't matter one iota as loads of your garden will be effectively south facing anyway.

    I grow roses, thyme and poppies against the north wall. Its nice to have a conservatory that we can use in the summer, rather than it being too hot.

    Another point is that children shouldn't really be playing in full sun, so a bit of shade is actually quite useful.

    Finally, if your garden faces south and the people whose garden backs onto yours plant trees/leylandii etc or build a shed at the bottom of theirs, you get stuck with the shade anyway.
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