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North Facing Garden Checklist

You might be wondering what a North facing garden checklist is all about. In this article I am going to share with you some expert thoughts for beginner gardeners who find themselves having to tend to a north facing garden or border.

A north facing garden is a challenge but with the right plants it can be a joy. This images shows a north facing terraced garden with lush green plants and a seating area.

Gardening enthusiasts understand that the orientation of your garden wields immense influence over its vitality. A north-facing garden, in particular, presents unique challenges that can be surmounted with informed planning and strategic techniques. Unveiling the secrets to successful gardening in these shadowy enclaves, our comprehensive north-facing garden checklist will guide you step by step towards crafting a flourishing green sanctuary.

Understanding North-Facing Gardens

Before delving into our specialized checklist, understanding the distinctive traits of north-facing gardens is paramount. A north-facing garden predominantly gazes northward, thus encountering limited direct sunlight. This phenomenon arises due to the sun’s trajectory across the sky, whereby structures and buildings to the garden’s south cast elongated shadows, contributing significantly to the shaded environment.

There are some flowering plants that will grow in a north facing garden. Here is an image of Helianthus in full flower.

North Facing Garden Checklist: Embracing Challenges with Strategic Planning

Embarking on the journey to conquer north-facing garden challenges entails strategic planning at its core. While sunlight may be scarce, it’s not entirely absent. Discerning the garden’s sunlit patterns throughout the day enables you to pinpoint pockets of indirect sunlight – these moments serve as valuable opportunities for cultivating sun-loving plants. As our north facing garden checklist advocates, align your planting choices with these favourable spots.

Selecting the Right Plants

Using variegated plants help to brighten up darker corners. Here we can see variegated vinca major planted with lavender to brighten the border

The success of your garden depends on choosing the right plants, a fundamental principle that holds true for north-facing gardens as well. Opting for plants that flourish in lower light conditions becomes paramount. Remarkably adapted to shade, plant varieties such as hostas, ferns, heucheras, and specific types of ivy stand as perfect choices, adding not only texture but vibrant life to your garden. If you lack confidence then ‘Buying Plants and How to Make the Right Choice’ will help you. 

I have been asked on several occasions by my clients can I grow any fruit trees in my north facing garden. My answer has always been yes, even though we might tend to think it impossible. If you wish to explore this idea, you will find the following article interesting 

I have been asked on several occasions by my clients, ‘Can I grow any fruit trees in my north facing garden?’ My answer has always been yes, even though we might tend to think it impossible. If you wish to explore this idea, you will find the following article interesting Growing Fruit on a north Facing Wall.

North Facing Garden Checklist: Designing for Depth and Interest

Balancing the lack of direct sunlight requires embracing innovative design strategies. Creating layers of visual interest becomes pivotal in elevating the allure of your garden. Incorporate plants of diverse heights, textures, and hues for added dimension. In tandem, consider introducing hardscaping elements such as architectural garden benches, intricate trellises, or even subtle water features to serve as captivating focal points.

Making the Most of Available Sunlight

In a north facing garden checklist, there are some parts of the garden that has a flash of sunlight. Using plants that can straddle between full sun and shade can often be challenging. Here we have a border that catches some sunlight and the image features spring bulbs to add colour.

Though full-day sunlight might elude north-facing gardens, the early morning and late afternoon bring forth indirect rays of illumination. Our north facing garden checklist encourages you to seize these precious moments. By astutely placing sun-loving plants in these areas, you strike a harmonious equilibrium between shade-loving and sun-seeking species.

In Conclusion

In summation, a north-facing garden champions individuality amidst its challenges, presenting an opportunity for innovation and creativity. Armed with our specialized north facing garden checklist, understanding the garden’s distinctive traits, mastering plant selection, perfecting available sunlight, and adopting ingenious design, your garden can blossom into an oasis of beauty. Each garden is a canvas awaiting the artist’s touch, and a north-facing garden is no exception. With determination and ability, your garden can thrive against all odds. So, seize the checklist, embrace the shade, and embark on your journey to crafting an enchanting north-facing haven.

Happy gardening, Kristian

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