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North facing terraced cottage garden

jw89jw89 Posts: 42
edited 7 August in The potting shed
hello. We are currently looking at possibly moving to this mid terrace cottage house with a north facing back garden. We currently have a south west garden so I’m a little worried about a north facing garden and how different it will be. 

Please tell me it’s not all bad??? Will I regret a north facing garden. 

Picture is the garden now which is obviously a building site but gives and idea of site 

thank you! 


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  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 1,153
    It looks to be a decent size and not overlooked which is good. 
    When buying a house, it is often better to look at the house itself and whether it suits you to a T - if the house is what you want, the garden can be worked on in the future as a North facing garden is not always the problem it may seem at first. Your location within the UK will obviously have a bearing and altho you are presently used to S facing, it depends on what type of planting you feel you must have in the new garden.
    In other words, think House first and then Garden.
    What ever orientation you eventually decide upon, you will get plenty of advice on the forum.  Good luck :)


  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,839
     Don't panic! The bit that is 'North facing' is the cottage wall and the area within its shadow. If you stand at the end of the garden you will be south facing :)
    The size of the shadow area will vary with the seasons, but plenty of plants will grow there happily provided they get good light. The front of my house faces north and there is a retaining wall about 4m away where I grow many of my sun lovers, as they get full sun all day in summer. Shade lovers include many lovely foliage plants as well as woodlanders, so there are many good things to choose from when planting up nearer the wall. I only need a few pots near the front door, but you could easily fill a bed if you wanted.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,498
    When a garden is short, and shaded by a tall house, I think North facing is a bit more of an issue.  With a garden as extensive as yours, it looks like much of it will receive full sun.

    We have a north facing back garden, but because we live in a bungalow, and the garden is steeply terraced, most of the garden is effectively South facing.

    I wouldn't worry about it if I were you.  You would just need to consider the right plants for the part of the garden which is shaded by the house, versus those parts that always get full sun.  There are some fantastic shade loving plants, I only wish we had more shade in our garden (especially with the increasingly hot Summers we get).
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 41,327
    Loads of plants grow in shade, so no, it isn't a problem at all.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 17,187
    Just thought I'd turn your photos so we could see better.
    I have a North facing garden, I can grow shade lovers and plants for more sun, just need to place them correctly. Yours is open enough and big enough to have sun and shade.


    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,058
    We have s north facing back garden,but a detached bungalow, unoverlooked so sun from dawn till,6,pm. Plenty of sun,!
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,115
    That's a heck of a big garden for a mid terrace! I don't think North facing is a problem, it's more pleasant to sit in the shade of the house in summer anyway, and in your big plot you'll have plenty of options for sunnier sitting areas further away.
  • jw89jw89 Posts: 42
    It looks to be a decent size and not overlooked which is good. 
    When buying a house, it is often better to look at the house itself and whether it suits you to a T - if the house is what you want, the garden can be worked on in the future as a North facing garden is not always the problem it may seem at first. Your location within the UK will obviously have a bearing and altho you are presently used to S facing, it depends on what type of planting you feel you must have in the new garden.
    In other words, think House first and then Garden.
    What ever orientation you eventually decide upon, you will get plenty of advice on the forum.  Good luck :)


    Of course the house itself and how it feels etc is the most important factor but I also really love being out in the garden and I’ve always had houses that face south or west so it was just a worry that it would be a big compromise having a north garden especially as I have always said I would never buy a house that didn’t get the sun… then typically the one house we love doesn’t get the sun 😑. I like to grow a lot of flowers and also want a little veggie patch area. It’s good that it’s a blank canvas to work away on and get how I like it. Thanks 
  • jw89jw89 Posts: 42
    @Buttercupdays yeah I suppose when you look at it like that it’s not so bad lol. We would just have to design the garden so the main patio area is nearer the end of the garden if we want to sit in the sun. It’s just different I guess to what we have. We have a large area at the front, which is obviously south facing, all chips at the moment but I’m sure I could do something pretty with that area too. Thank you 
  • jw89jw89 Posts: 42
    @KeenOnGreen thank you. Yeah lucky that there are really no buildings around the garden area to block and sun we do get. And I was thinking it would probably be good to have our outdoor dining table still near the house as it will then be in the shade which is nicer for eating in the peak of summer as at the moment we have no shade over our table and we often find it too hot to sit in the full sun eating. Do you get the sun after 6pm in your north garden? We often wouldn’t sit out till after work etc so after 6pm so would be annoying if we just missed it. Thanks 
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