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North facing garden

hi. I’ve mapped out the sun in our garden and I have large sections which are in mostly shade for the majority of autumn winter and spring but full sun in midsummer when sun is much higher in the sky including hot midday sun. Do I pick shade plants (which I’m worried will scorch in the summer sun) or do I pick plants for shade/sun (which all seem to say they like sun but hate midday sun which my garden gets a lot of). Or should I get summer plants which like sun and then switch up at the end of the season? This seems like a pain. Any thoughts?


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,020
    My garden in Harrow was north facing and very dull and old when we inherited it form the previous owners.   We put a fruit cage and veggies down the sunniest end and a mix of shrubs, perennials and bulbs in the rest and they did well.

    Go for sun lovers in the sunniest bits as most perennials will be dormant underground in the periods when the sun is too low to get to them in winter and any shrubs will also be dormant or quiet.

    For the east facing beds, avoid plants like camellias which don't do well in that aspect.

    Your soil quality is a major factor in choosing plants - clay, loam, sand, acid, alkaline etc - as are rainfall and exposure to winter winds and frosts.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,882
    I'd agree with what @Obelixx is saying re your soil and conditions, as that has a bearing on what you pick. A sheltered, urban garden in the south, has very little in common with a wet, cold exposed one in the north.  :)
    Having said that, there are shrubs which will work no matter what, and it's ofetn worth experimenting. Potentillas and Spireas for example, grow almost anywhere . The same goes for many perennials - Japanese anemones will take a lot of sun if they have decent soil, Astrantias and Knapweeds [Centaurea] are also very accomodating. Hardy geraniums will grow almost anywhere - loads to choose from.  :)
    Don't forget bulbs - readily available just now, but also lots of types available on good online sites. 
    It largely depends on what style you like as well, the size of the plot, and what you want to achieve in the garden. If you have a few ideas, just ask directly, perhaps with a photo of the area,  and you'll get some advice and suggestions  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you for the replies :) I’m in the West Midlands so a tonne of rain haha. But lovely soil. Not a very exposed site quite sheltered but not warm like the south. I’ve been eyeing up what the neighbours have been growing successfully in their gardens haha. Seems to be a lot of crocosmia and hydrangea everywhere lol.
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