Tips for north-facing gardens

Brits with north facing gardens have been advised on how they can make their grass green enough to rival south facing neighbours.

By Sue Wilkinson
Monday, 29 April, 2019, 09:42
Tips on tending a north-facing garden

Garden gurus at online garden centre GardeningExpress.co.uk have revealed how best to achieve a flourishing lawn even when your garden is mostly in the shade.

Homes with north facing gardens can lack sunlight for a lot of the day and are therefore deemed less desirable and valued lower than south facing homes.

However, a garden flooded in shade doesn’t necessarily mean that green fingered Brits can’t delve into their passion.

A variety of plants have been introduced to the UK gardening scene which don’t need lots sunlight and are therefore better suited to north facing gardens.

Chris Bonnett from Gardening Express.co.uk explained: “South facing yards are extremely desirable, but homeowners need not despair if their garden points towards the north.

“By simply taking the time to learn about the plants which prosper in an environment with little sunshine, achieving a flourishing garden is surprisingly easy.

“So choosing a home which lies in the shade does not mean having to compromise a beautiful green garden.”

Here are Gardening Express.co.uk’s tips for a flourishing north facing garden:

1. Which shade?

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It’s important to understand the type of shade over the garden in order to identify how best to deal with this. For some there may only be light shade which is open to the sky but with no direct sunlight, whilst others may have deep shade due to a dense tree cover. Taking the time to do this will make the process of choosing suitable plants that little bit easier, as some plants like the Hosta family thrive under light shade whilst the ‘ soft shield’ fern can blossom in dry shade with little to no sun.

2. Get rid:

Any further obstructions to sunlight must be removed, this includes any trees or structures in order to maximise the level of light. Remove a layer of leaves from a particular dense canopy to do this, or look at lowering imposing hedges that may obstruct light. Make the most of the little light there already is.

3. Choose wisely:

It’s important to understand that plants have different needs. Some require large amounts of sun and thrive in dry weathers; others only prosper in shady and damp areas. Try planting flowers which do well in limited light conditions often reserved for winter like Snowdrops or Cyclamen Coum which are revered for their hardy properties.

4. Lawn-care:

Majority of full-turf grasses will require a large amount of sunlight and without they can end up deteriorating and becoming prone to disease. Therefore, extra care is required to avoid the lawn becoming sparse due to the lack of sunlight. Ensure the grass is fed and not cut too often or look at putting down a shade friendly species of grass such as the from the Fescue family all of which are incredibly adaptable to varying amounts of shade.

5. Create light:

There are ways to ‘fake’ light in the garden, with a popular method includes installing a pond, so the water will reflect much needed light. For a cheaper often consider adding mirrors to an outbuilding or decorating pieces which will utilise the little light.