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New North Facing Garden

(16 Posts)
knot Wed 23-Feb-05 08:47:06

we are moving to a new house - soon and am getting a north facing garden , the current owners have slabbed it over for their dogs - yuk. i wnat to lift the slabs and have a garden to sit in and veg patch but - what is realistic in a north facing shady garden?, any other north facing gardeners out there?

KatieMac Wed 23-Feb-05 19:44:32

Good Luck Knot....my front garden is north facing, very dry and in almost total shade. I've really struggled.

Hopefully someone on here will be able to help(hope I haven't depressed you)

Frizbe Wed 23-Feb-05 19:46:45

hmmm my mums is north facing although not all in shade as its quite long! she's done quite a lot with it actually, has bamboos and assorted shrubs in the shady bit (border anyway) and has grassed n patio'd the rest! would it help if I found out what plants she has in the shady bits?

Mirage Wed 23-Feb-05 20:55:48

Mine is north facing too.Its about 100ft by 20ft & to be honest have grown everything in there that I'd plant in a south facing garden.Even lavenders/rosemary ect have thrived & they are in a northeast facing bed.Some of the plants I have are;
Roses,
Clematis,
Passionflower,
Jasmine,
Lavender,
Rosemary,
Hydreanga,
Philadelphus,
Mahonia,
Peony,
Ferns,
Ornamental grasses,
Kangaroo claw,
St John's Wort
Holly
Apple,
Plum,
Greengage,
Ceanothus,
Korean Fir,
Eucalyptus.
Echinops,
Kniphofia,
Solanum,
Hebes,
False Castor Oil plant.
Hellebores
I have a veg patch at the bottom of the garden too & the only things that don't do well are aubergines & cucumbers.Everything else is just fine.

Is the shade caused by overhanging trees,or other buildings? If you can let me know the dimensions ect,I'll try & help a bit more.I'm a gardener by trade,so hopefully will be able to come up with some solutions for you.

CountessDracula Wed 23-Feb-05 20:58:30

Mimosa did very well at the dark back of our n facing garden.

As did ceanothus, some clematis (ruby something?), and for instant colour cyclamen and bizzie lizzies.

KristinaM Wed 23-Feb-05 21:04:56

Do you what type of soil? Is is damp or dry? As Katie suggests, i think dry shade is much harder than damp.If you have good moisture retention I think you can go woodland-y IYSWIM

knot Thu 24-Feb-05 09:34:52

wow lots of things then, not feeing quite so depressed now
i love mums net.

knot Thu 24-Feb-05 09:51:37

Right the garden is rectangular a 12ft long x 21ft wide. So not not that long for veg patch at bottom of garden I was thingk veg patch at side but worried about shade.

The patio double doors from the lounge come out to the garden.

The right had sifde of the garden had a brick wall about 12ft high which casts a huge shadow and we have a wooden fence - 6ft on the left.

see what i mean - i'm missing my old garden.

knot Thu 24-Feb-05 09:52:32

Thats right hand side as you stand looking out on the patio.

Mirage Thu 24-Feb-05 19:33:55

Ok,one of the main things you will need to do is replenish the soil.If slabs have been down for a while,it is likely to be in pretty poor condition.If you have a farm or stables nearby,well rotted manure would be the best & cheapest option.Otherwise any sort of organic matter dug in will improve it.

I would imagine both wall & fence would be ok for climbers,as long as they are planted at least a foot from the base of the fence/wall.Any closer & they will suffer from being in the shadow of the wall & won't benefit from rain ect.On my north east fence I have successfully grown clematis,rose 'golden showers'Ivy,Jasmine & honeysuckle (oh & raspberries & rhubarb).On the Northwest wall, try Solanum (potato vine)climbing roses & clematis again.Also any type of Ivy will be fine,but varigated types don't do so well in shade & loose their colour.Clematis like to have cool roots,so putting a slate or mulch over the planting hole will improve youir chances of success with them.

Ground cover & plants for borders could be;
Buxus sempervirens-Box
Daphne laureola
Eleagnusx ebbingei
Gaultheria shallon-
Hypericum x indorum
Lonicera pileata
Mahonia aquifolium
Osmanthuis decorus
Ruscus auculeatus
Viburnum rhytidophyllum
Vinca major -blue periwinkle
Vinca minor -blue periwinkle
Alchemilla mollis-ladies mantle
Epimedium pinnatum colchicum
Iris foetidissima
Tradescantia zebrina
For summer bedding or to brighten up dull spots,Busy Lizzies will flower in shade & are tough little things.

As for the veg patch,the best place is likely to be in the centre of the garden,to maximise the light & sun.I don't know how you feel about a 'potager' type patch,but it could look very pretty,with all the veg set out ornamentally.If you like the sound of this I can do you a list of veg that looks good as well as tastes good ie purple carrots,red & white beans ect,purple kale ect.

Let me know if I can help anymore

knot Fri 25-Feb-05 08:37:34

Mirage , thank you am very grateful for your advice, okay will send DH to farm to get horse manure once the weather has warmed up a bit am i right in saying that you have to wait six wek after digging in horse manure before planting anything?

Am not familar with the potager type garden is that where its in a circle?, excuse the laymans terms, but ornamental veg patch sounds great, yes please can you reccomend some edible veg? we love fresh lettuce, courgettes and cumcumbers from the garden.

I could put the rhubard in the centre?, - but then it might overspread its in a pot from when we moved - HUGE root was v surprised. or a wigwam of beans? in the centre

Am very excited now about garden from starting the week thinking was a nightmare blank canvass was now am v. excited

Busy Lizzies sound good, will get some plants what about asters? - love then - any good do you think?

Mirage Sat 05-Mar-05 20:03:01

Knot-sorry I haven't got back to you.We have had a hectic week as have just had an offer accepted on pour dream house,so I am overhauling ours to get it ready for sale.

As for the manure.If it is old,it can go on straight away with no problems.If it is fresh,leaving it to sit for a few weeks should stop it scorching your new plants.

I'd avoid putting rhubarb in the centre as it does tend to cover nearby plants & smother them.Your potager can be any shape you like,but it is best not to have it wider than 4ft,that way you don't have to trample over it to pick stuff & do the weeding.

I promise I'll get my ornamental veg book out & give you some suggestions.I grew some lovely golden courgettes last year & have grown black ones too.

No I have to work out what I will do with our {all being well]new garden-east facing on a steep slope.Now theres a challenge!

knot Tue 29-Mar-05 11:24:25

hi sory for my absence have had restricted internet access - long story
we have decided to go with an ornamental veggie garden can you recoomend books?, am stuck with the garden design aspect, thanks

knot Tue 29-Mar-05 11:24:25

hi sory for my absence have had restricted internet access - long story
we have decided to go with an ornamental veggie garden can you recoomend books?, am stuck with the garden design aspect, thanks

Mirage Tue 29-Mar-05 12:24:55

The New Kitchen Garden by Anna Pavord is a great book.It has designs,variety suggestions & recipes.Would tell you a bit more about it but dd is looking at it now & won't let me near it.

knot Tue 29-Mar-05 12:41:12

wow you starting her off young?

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