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Getting hung up on which direction garden faces.

(52 Posts)
IncognitoBurrito Tue 09-Jun-15 09:02:23

Hi, we are in South West London in a high rise flat. DC2 on the way. We want to move to a house, mainly so we can have a garden to plant vegetables in and for the children to play in.

We have pinpointed a very specific area that we love and want to move to. Problem is, houses don't come up there very often. Maybe one new one every six weeks, and some write offs from the start with tiny/no garden.

Am I being silly to get hung up on which way the garden faces? We'd be looking at terraces with gardens a max of 40ish feet. Saw a house the other day which ticked all the boxes, except the garden faced due North. I worry nothing will grow and it'll be freezing to play in. I just can't get excited about moving there. Am aware that worst case scenario we could lose our buyer if we take too long... Or compromise and go for an area we don't like so much.

It's uncanny how many North facing gardens come up. Do people with South facing gardens love them so much that they never move??! Perhaps having a South facing garden contributes to longevity too. Wonder if there's been a study done wink

Anyway, I suppose I'm asking wwyd in this situation? Positive stories of North facing gardens? DH humouring me currently but fear he may get impatient if I say no to too many more! Thanks in advance!

PickleSarnie Tue 09-Jun-15 09:06:10

I wouldn't buy a house with a north facing garden. You can buy a house that isn't perfect and make it better. You can't physically pick it up and move it though

Babymamamama Tue 09-Jun-15 09:06:58

My friend had a n facing garden in London. Surrounded by three story houses. Never got any sun so the garden was always wet and not a lot grew well. But it depends how long the garden is too and how tall the surrounding properties. I love the evening sun so would prioritise west or south facing.

PickleSarnie Tue 09-Jun-15 09:07:05

Sorry, that's not a positive story of a north facing garden I'm afraid. I can make one up if you want?! smile

PoshPenny Tue 09-Jun-15 09:13:42

I think because of the close living conditions in London, any garden which ever way it faces is not going to get that much sun. If you want to grow veg, it might be better to get an allotment in the longer term. My experience of North facing gardens is that the very bottom of the garden gets the sun, which usually is where the veg get put anyway?

IncognitoBurrito Tue 09-Jun-15 09:14:28

Haha! It is as I feared, I need to stick to my guns. Houses not tall but terraced so not chinks for the light to creep through. Gardens small. Already looking at very imperfect ones.
Useful to have backup about this, thanks, as I increasingly think DH thinks I'm being a fruit loop about it!

meadowquark Tue 09-Jun-15 09:14:40

It really depends on the size of the garden, surrounding buildings and if it is strictly north. I lived in south west facing garden, it was too hot in my kitchen. My ideal garden is long, not overlooked and north west so I can get a glimpse of peaceful evening sun. So it really depends.

IncognitoBurrito Tue 09-Jun-15 09:22:09

Yes, I wouldn't mind Northwest as long as nothing blocking the evening sun.
Allotment is a nice idea PoshPenny and there is one nearby... Wonder how easy it'd be to mange with two under three.

DollyMcDolly Tue 09-Jun-15 09:46:42

I live in a modern estate with a north facing garden and I get loads sun during the day.

Artistic Tue 09-Jun-15 09:47:37

Lived in a house with north facing garden. We did get some good sun, but never got morning sun & didn't get 'hot' sun on the patio. When we bought I was keen to but any direction but north as I love a warm patio mid morning. In a south east facing garden we have very hot sun in the first half of the day & some cool sun & shadows in the second half.

Enb76 Tue 09-Jun-15 09:50:59

I have refused houses because they were North or North-East facing. I now have a lovely SSW facing garden and have sun all day. It was definitely worth the wait. However, I did compromise, none of the windows face the garden, the front is north facing and damp so only good for ferns and moss.

CaTsMaMmA Tue 09-Jun-15 09:52:59

it really depends how high the house is...my courtyard is north facing, but the back half and corner catches the sun over the house beautifully from april onwards.

Admittedly it is freezing and dank and green out there from November, but we're NE Scotland so who wants to be out then?

ONe good squoosh with the jet washer about april time and we are good to go, and it means against the house is lovely and cool right until late evening as the sun sets and then the light floods into the back of the house

Small garden with lawns are vastly overrated and lots and lots of work....courtyard style is the way to go, we have a couple of borders build up around the edges, lots of pots and lots of corners with chairs in for specific times of day.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 09-Jun-15 09:55:39

I think it matters and you can't change it. Do check for effects of surrounding buildings overshadowing, whichever way you face.

In my area, S or SW facing gardens are always heavily emphasised in the sales details and those houses go quickly. For anyone who really wants to spend time in the garden, it's a really big deal. Wouldn't surprise me at all if people stay in those houses much longer, they'd have put down roots, literally!

BanKimoon Tue 09-Jun-15 09:57:40

We had a North facing garden in London, 30ft so shorter than the one you're looking at. It was fine. It backed into other 30ft gardens so the only shade came from our own terrace really. The patio didn't get much sun and there was a small patch of grass next to it which didn't grow well due to lack of sun but the rest of the garden was a complete sun trap and lovely - I had 3 raised beds and room for deckchairs and sunbathing etc (no kids at that point). Definitely don't rule out north facing gardens completely!!

Idoc Tue 09-Jun-15 09:57:40

I agree with above post I'm hoping to create a courtyard garden for a small terrace house

PoorNeglectedBike Tue 09-Jun-15 10:08:16

Ours is north facing and lovely, though it is long and not overlooked

The back 2/3rd are sunny all day. The part nearest the house is shady so perfect for the dc to have their sandpit etc so they can play without being in the blazing sun. It's not dank and damp though

I love out garden and wouldn't have it any other way

KanyesVest Tue 09-Jun-15 10:31:43

When we were buying our house, DH hadn't a clue why I wouldn't look at any houses unless they had south or west facing gardens (and we are in the burbs, not city centre/high rise at all). He found his "dream house", which had a north facing garden. I went to view it to keep him happy. It was a nice sunny day, around lunchtime and as soon as we walked out the back door, we were both cold and we had to wipe our muddy feet before going back indoors. We don't grow much except dandelions, but I love our south facing garden.

specialsubject Tue 09-Jun-15 10:44:02

with the high housing density in a city, some gardens get no sun at all and a north-facing one is more likely to be in this category. That means washing hard to dry, very limited on plants and decking a deathtrap if someone has been foolish enough to install it.

if you like being outside this is not the house for you.

ClaudiaNaughton Tue 09-Jun-15 10:49:22

It is very important. Once had N facing but never again. Don't be taken in with sun at this time of year it's the winter when it's really grim.

Millionprammiles Tue 09-Jun-15 11:04:16

Our garden isn't remotely South facing (more like North East) but we still have lots of sun (too much in fact, just put a gazebo up).

Consider size of the garden, how much shade there is from neighbouring trees/properties. We cleared our garden out, minimal borders/shrubs etc.

Personally I wouldn't choose a South facing garden unless it had lots of guaranteed shade built in. MiL's garden is south facing and its too hot to be out there much of the Summer. Kids need a bit of shade.

cestlavielife Tue 09-Jun-15 11:37:10

you need to visit the garden at different times of the day to see how much sun it does or does not get. i am in est facing in london it gets lots of sun because of layout of surrounding buildings and since a large tree was cut down... and not too hot to sit out near back door in afternoon. .
i had south facing and it needed a lot of shade (parasols) on hot days

Imperialleather2 Tue 09-Jun-15 11:48:27

I think a 40 foot garden is unlikely to get much sun due to the shadow which is cast by the house.

We have a north facing garden but it's,quite a bit longer and not over looked too badly and we get lots of sun and loads of lovely evening sun on the patio at the back of the house and enough proper shade in the heat of the day for the children. I love it

I once had a small.East facing garden and it was bloody awful dark dank and slimy.

Go and visit at different times of day to see how it is

HelenF350 Tue 09-Jun-15 12:05:37

Our garden faces north, my old garden faced South. To be honest they isn't that much difference. In the old house we got sun till from first thing till about 7pm, in the new one we get sun till it goes down at night but not so much in the morning.

DataColour Tue 09-Jun-15 12:07:50

I'm the same as you OP and finding it very hard to compromise on the orientation. We are house hunting at the moment and you are right....so many houses coming up are north or east facing gardens!! Currently we are in a west facing house and it is amazing. Morning sun in the front first thing, lovely to wake up to (although needs blinds on the window as I don't want the sunlight to actually wake me up in the morning!) and evening sun in the back. This is my favourite orientation. I have discounted so many house and DH is getting fed up with me. But I really don't want a cold back garden.
But it does depend on the layout of the surrounding buildings too. We are in a new build estate and the houses aren't that tall and there is a massive space in the middle for cars and a garden type but so none of the houses are backing onto another house, so even the north facing back gardens get a lot of sun in the summer. Not sure about the winter.

NonDom Tue 09-Jun-15 12:08:59

My back garden faces North but it is 150 feet long. There is plenty of sunshine, and a little bit of shade.

I'm amazed at how many prospective buyers want to put themselves in danger of skin cancer.

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