What's with certain direction facing gardens?

(99 Posts)
Bells3032 Thu 27-Aug-20 15:52:44

I don't get it. see people obsessing over south facing gardens? what's the reason for it? esp in the UK when you don't spend that much time outside?

And how does the garden direction face towards the house or away?

Sorry just confusing

OP’s posts: |
BentBastard Thu 27-Aug-20 15:55:15

Lots of UK people spend plenty of time outside they have a nice sunny garden. That's why south facing is a thing (or west for afternoon/evening sun).

It might also make a difference for growing stuff.

Bells3032 Thu 27-Aug-20 15:57:13

Are South gardens considered more sunny?

OP’s posts: |
RatherBeRiding Thu 27-Aug-20 15:57:49

Because if you're a keen gardener you want plenty of sunlight and because, depending on the passage of sun over the house and garden, you outdoor seating area could get absolutely no sun after about mid-day.

LuluBellaBlue Thu 27-Aug-20 15:58:09

Having had a North facing garden it makes a massive difference to have a south facing garden! I guess if you have a huge garden it doesn’t matter, but most people don’t

Elouera Thu 27-Aug-20 15:58:33

As the above poster said, it can make a massive difference to what you can grow (front garden vs back), where your patio/BBQ is etc etc. People I know do spend alot of time in their gardens!

Where is the UK do you live Bells?

RatherBeRiding Thu 27-Aug-20 15:59:10

And yes, as we are in the northern hemisphere, a south facing house/garden will get maximum sun as the sun moves across in an east-west direction.


ComtesseDeSpair Thu 27-Aug-20 15:59:16

I actually have no idea which way my garden faces! It gets full sunlight throughout the day from different angles because it has four sides. Which side of the garden is the one which dictates its compass position? I may be dense, admittedly.

SpanielPlusToddler Thu 27-Aug-20 15:59:27

A south facing garden will be sunny pretty much all day, because of the way the sun travels across the sky, east to west.

Bells3032 Thu 27-Aug-20 15:59:55

I live in London

OP’s posts: |
Fortyfifty Thu 27-Aug-20 16:00:51

If you stand at the back of the house and look at a compass, that tells you what way the garden faces. South facing would mean the sun is in the sky above the back of your garden in the middle of the day

I've mostly lived in South facing gardens and once had a west facing garden which was lovely for evening bbqs. But I've rented a house with a north facing garden and my friends had a north facing garden and they got lots of sun at the back of the garden, so it felons how long the garden is, and how nearby houses are placed as to amount of sun received.

We sirens all summer in our garden. It's very important to us. Many of our neighbours only go out occasionally, so I can see it's not as important to everyone. I like having a bright kitchen though. My friend's north facing kitchen is dark even in July.

Suzi888 Thu 27-Aug-20 16:02:30

Because south facing gardens get most of our very limited sun.
We are are North, our neighbour grows conifers. Our garden is damp and dark for most of the day.

Most plants struggle to grow and we do spend a lot of time outside.

Bells3032 Thu 27-Aug-20 16:03:17

@ComtesseDeSpair that's what i am also confused about

But after five years of living in flats it's not something that bothered me when buying. I grew up with a massive garden and we rarely used it (bar the dog). was just a load of maintenance so it wasn't my biggest priority.

OP’s posts: |
Mamette Thu 27-Aug-20 16:04:11

When you’re at the back of the house facing the garden, check the compass. Whatever it says, that’s the direction your garden faces.

If your garden is north facing, your house will cast a shadow on the garden for most of the day, and the part of your garden beside the house will be in shadow most or all of the time. That’s why people don’t like north facing gardens.

VirginiaWolverine Thu 27-Aug-20 16:07:52

It makes a huge difference! My north-facing front garden is in shadow for most of the day, for most of the day, for most of the year. This means that it can be hard to grow a lot of popular plants, so I grow more woodland plants such as ferns.. It also means that my sitting room gets very little natural light. On the other hand, my kitchen and dining room are bright and sunny, and my back garden is full of plants that like sunshine, such as roses and lavender.

Even if you don't have a garden, the direction your home faces will affect how colours look in each room.

BlessedBeTheFruitCake Thu 27-Aug-20 16:09:36

Our garden is East facing, morning is lovely and sunny but by around 4.30 there's no sun and a bit chilly. We usually have to have BBQs, etc at lunchtime rather than in the evening.

KingOfDogShite Thu 27-Aug-20 16:11:50

How can you say we don’t spend that much time outside? You might not but I spend all my time outside when it isn’t raining, we eat all our meals outside and so do all our neighbours.

Dinnafashyersel Thu 27-Aug-20 16:17:08

Makes more difference where the sun is in relation to the windows in the public rooms and also where the external walls are. My Mum's house has a cold bedroom because it is above a stairwell and that part of the house is on an exposed corner facing North rather than South.

daisypond Thu 27-Aug-20 16:18:54

It makes a big difference -and particularly in London, where gardens are small. I use my garden all the time in London. It’s very small but it faces south, so it’s pretty good for sun. You can sit out in it, dry your washing, grow lots more flowers and vegetables, the grass or paved bits don’t become mossy. Etc.

Bells3032 Thu 27-Aug-20 16:21:16

@Mamette thank you for the explanation. that was sooo helpful. I've looked at the house we are buying on google maps satellites and think it's South west facing (more towards south than west) so think thats good smile

OP’s posts: |
Thneedville Thu 27-Aug-20 16:21:52

I used to have a south facing garden. I now have a north-facing one - I thought it wouldn’t matter as the garden is big, so we do get the sun from different angles for all of the day. But it is damp and dank, particularly near the house.

Butterer Thu 27-Aug-20 16:23:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2bazookas Thu 27-Aug-20 16:28:44


Are South gardens considered more sunny?

South facing gardens ARE sunnier than north-facing.
South facing windows are sunnier than windows facing north.

Just add that to the list of new things you learned today.

AnEleanor Thu 27-Aug-20 16:28:47

I have a north facing garden and have been pleasantly surprised by what I can grow - I think the secret is that although it’s not getting Direct sun it is open to the sky and only gets shade from my house so it’s actually quite bright. The north facing rooms are ideal for houseplants which is a bonus. I do wish the garden was a bit longer though so I got a strip of full sun all day.

AnEleanor Thu 27-Aug-20 16:30:13

Also a friend of mine pointed out that as our summers get hotter the north facing garden might become more desirable! Certainly the garden and back rooms are lovely and cool in summer.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in