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Just found out my garden is North facing!

(52 Posts)
Lookingforadvice123 Sun 18-Jan-15 18:00:52

DH and I bought a house late last year, which we had viewed in August - sale took a while. When viewing the estate agent told us the back garden was South west facing - I could kick myself for taking her word for it now, but I was a naive first time buyer. The back garden has had literally no sun in the approx 6 weeks since we've lived here, so I downloaded a compass app and actually checked the aspect myself today - turns out it's North facing!

I know this is very much a first world problem but I'm really upset/disappointed, this is our first house after living in flats for years, and having a south/South west/South East facing garden was really important to me - to be honest I don't know if we would've bought the house had the EA told the truth at our first viewing.

The house is a semi but with other houses close by, and the back garden has another garden behind it. The garden is medium size I would say. Does anyone know whether it will get any sun in summer? The front of the house (inc master bedroom) gets a lot of sun even now in winter so I can imagine this will be horrible in the summer too! Feel like we made a mistake buying it.

OverAndAbove Sun 18-Jan-15 18:06:22

Honestly? You've never looked at it on a map? Or seen which way the sun is shining in the morning or evening? How weird!

If your garden is long enough then it will get sun at the "other" end anyway. It will depend on the height of the house as to whether that blocks the sun

Nervo Sun 18-Jan-15 18:06:52

No advice but we have a north facing back garden. The back corner get sun until about 6pm in the summer.

Luckily we live in a quiet street with a long front garden so we can sit there in the summer.

Actually, when it's really hot I am thankful for the shade. It means I worry less about the children getting sunburnt.

WorkingBling Sun 18-Jan-15 18:11:02

You really should have checked this yourself if you thought it was important. The estate agent probably didn't have a clue.

Having said that, we have a north facing garden and while yes, more sun would be nice, we actually get quite a lot of sun at the back and middle in the summer. We just don't get any on the patio or shining into the kitchen and dining room. As a pp said it can be nice to have the shade options and we have put effort into making the garden nice so that the sunny bit is really bright and lovely with flowers and shrubs while the patio had lots of pots etc. I am particularly proud of my hydrangeas which love the shade and make absolute beautiful displays on the patio where we eat.

mousmous Sun 18-Jan-15 18:13:08

we are north facing and have a very light garden from mid march.
big advantage is that back neighbour's trees can't overshadow it.

CatsClaus Sun 18-Jan-15 18:17:52

my courtyard back yard is more or less north facing and walled.

Also we live in NE Scotland of eternal darkness! BUT in the summer as teh sun gets higher, and shines over the house, the back corner is just the best place, a real sun trap so you might be lucky

it also means on the odd occasion we have too much sun you can sit in the shade of the house and not get boiled to death.

WorkingBling Sun 18-Jan-15 18:18:23

Also, possibly my best ever but was a small mosaic table with a matching chairs. It's bright and colourful and really brightens up the patio even when we aren't using it and just looking out the window or whatever.

AmantesSuntAmentes Sun 18-Jan-15 18:19:30

I feel for you, op! The very first thing I do when a house comes up, is check the various aspects on a map, then visit to check what light reaches the garden (taking other structures into consideration), with a compass, just in case!

So to me, a sf back garden matters a great deal. OTOH, if your back faces north, your front faces south, so could your front garden be made into a viable private area?

The light received will also change slightly through the year, which could account for you getting the wrong impression at the height of summer.

Don't beat yourself up. I would move, if I couldn't find a solution!

Lookingforadvice123 Sun 18-Jan-15 18:24:15

Yes I feel pretty f*cking stupid and frustrated with myself to be honest, that I didn't check. But I've never bought a property before and didn't think the EA would tell an outright lie, if she'd said she didn't know I would've checked myself. Also as I've never had any outside space before in my life I don't honestly have a clue about where the sun should be at different times of day. The sun is very much at the front of the house in the morning / early afternoon, but I'm so clueless that if someone had told me it's opposite in the summer and winter then I would've believed them!

The fact that it doesn't get a sliver of sun in the winter means I'm not hopeful. Very disappointed as we have a nice patio area which I doubt will ever get used.

roneik Sun 18-Jan-15 18:28:44

When you look at google street view on rightmove there is a compass. If you manipulate the image you can see the compass move and from that determine the direction your garden would face

AmantesSuntAmentes Sun 18-Jan-15 18:29:54

Do you have a front garden, Looking?

SignoraLiviaBurlando Sun 18-Jan-15 18:36:10

The house I grew up in (terrace) has North facing garden, not that I knew that at the time - I just remember long sunny days and evenings playing in that garden. My mum grows all sorts of lovely plants in it. It backs onto another garden, and definitely does get sun in the daytime and gets too hot sometimes in the summer (when the sun is higher in the sky)...
I now live in a house with a large South facing garden, but we don't get much sun in the winter because the sun is low in the sky - you will prob be fine March-Sept which is when you will be out in the garden anyway...

123rd Sun 18-Jan-15 18:47:09

We previously has a north facing square back garden. But in the summer we had a lot of sun. The only part that didn't ever get any sun was the rear of the house. ( but all I the garden did) We had our lounge in the rear of the house and it was lush to have a cool lounge. So don't write it off yet.

roneik Sun 18-Jan-15 18:54:31

The sun shines on everything when high in summer , it's the shadow caused by buildings that blot it out

So if you cant turn your house around try sunbathing on the roof until you can afford a compassgrin

AryaUnderfoot Sun 18-Jan-15 19:00:28

It's really hard to judge at ths time of year.

Our south-facing garden gets no direct sunlight at this time of year as the sun is so low in the sky and there are some enormous pine trees at the end of our street that, although far away, block direct sunlight. In the summer it's a totally different matter.

We had a north facing garden in our last house and it was lovely. Only the patio didn't get direct sunlight, and it made the conservatory temperature much more easy to control.

MelanieCheeks Sun 18-Jan-15 19:03:12

It's OK! You can still have a garden - the sun will be at the back of the garden late in the evening.

PrincessPilolevuofTONGA Sun 18-Jan-15 19:06:04

Our garden is north facing but long, and backs onto another garden, so not overlooked. It's sunny all over in the height of summer and the end is always sunny, the shadow of the house only reaches so far iyswim

And actually the part closest to the house being in shade is an advantage in some ways. We have the sandpit etc there so the kids aren't in direct sunlight

It works really well for us, don't despair just yet. Everywhere is gloomy in January smile

roneik Sun 18-Jan-15 19:19:39

I woz at Cleethorpes today and it woz sunny innitt

Oh gosh bring on the summer please

specialsubject Sun 18-Jan-15 19:24:42

compass APP? Well, now I know why I got surprised looks when I produced a small physical compass at every house I looked at. Sounds like your agent was of the 'don't know, make it up' camp. Not good but way too late.

ok. (deep breath). How much sun a garden gets depends on which way it faces and its latitude, but also on the surroundings. You can't really tell until you've seen a year round and no-one here can answer your question.Is the patio covered in moss and algae BTW? If not, you may find that it gets more sun than you think.

yes, this does mean your front rooms will face south although you may also not get as much sun as you think in high summer, it depends on the above factors.

didireallysaythat Sun 18-Jan-15 19:28:06

I feel for you OP. I also viewed houses with a compass and discounted houses on one side of a street exactly for this reason. I'd try not to dwell on it and make the most of what a shadey garden allows.

Lookingforadvice123 Sun 18-Jan-15 19:32:09

Gosh I hope so I'm feeling really doom and gloom about it at the minute - I know first world problem! The house was even advertised as having a "rear garden with sunny aspect"...I'm racking my brains to think about what the garden was like when we viewed it back in August as it was an on/off sunny day, but our viewing was quite early, around midday. I just wish I'd checked myself, I was OCD about everything else to do with the house, doing drive bys at different times of day/week and accosted some poor woman in the street to ask if it was a nice place to live (it wasn't my first choice of area but it's what we could afford). Could actually shake myself right now.

ClaudiaNaughton Sun 18-Jan-15 19:34:16

I made that mistake many years ago. Eventually we moved across the road and it made a huge difference. Would always take a compass when viewing now.

CatsClaus Sun 18-Jan-15 19:39:27

tbh it probably will be sunny in the summer....just at the end furthest from the house
How tall is your house/neighbouring properties? The sun is always higher in the's how we know winter is over when the sun shines into the yard!

Lookingforadvice123 Sun 18-Jan-15 19:49:20

No moss or algae on the patio at all - although could it be washed away by all the rain we've had?!

Don't think the houses are particularly tall so I'll pray that we will get sun in the summer! Was so looking forward to finally being able to enjoy the summer sun in my own garden! We do have a front garden but it's right on the street, not a main road but not really somewhere you might want to sit!

WeAllHaveWings Sun 18-Jan-15 19:55:54

We did the same and have a north facing garden. Naive first time buyers, but accept its our own fault..

Should have realised when all the other gardens had little grass and lots of chips. We are in scotland and the last two summers have been awful in the garden, drainage is poor and our attempt at grass has resulted in a soggy mess that never seems to dry out. Going to put down slabs & chips when we can afford it to be done right with some drainage.

Can't afford to move for now, but will one day.

The only upside is its nice and cool when very hot (which isn't often in scotland!)

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