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north facing garden

Simple North Facing Garden Design Ideas

Since having a south facing garden seems to be the coveted option, north facing garden design ideas can be hard to come be. A north facing garden can be quite cool and damp. It spends most of the day in the shade, but gets the evening sun around May to October.

Ensuring you know what to expect in terms of how much light you’ll get and when you can expect it, will help inform your north facing garden design ideas.

Simple North Facing Garden Design Ideas and Tips

If lots of research isn’t your bag, then read on. This list of simple north facing garden design ideas will help you plan the garden of your dreams.

Pick your plants accordingly

You garden is likely to spend a lot of the day in the shade so you need to pick your plants accordingly. Something that needs lots of sun won’t thrive in the shade. Woodland flowers that are used to long stretches in the shadows might well be your saviours.

Lungwort plants are resilient evergreens that needs the shade to survive. They do best in moist, dark areas, so a north facing garden is the perfect environment for them to flourish. The leaves a green and have a pattern that makes them look ‘splashed with bleach’, and the flowers can be blue, white or pink.

north facing garden

Base your north facing garden design ideas around a garden room

Just because your garden doesn’t get the daytime sun, doesn’t mean it’s a write-off. The evening light can be just as glorious in those summer months. If you work the usual 9-5, a garden bathed in a golden glow might be just what you need to see after a long day at work.

By building a garden room, it gives you somewhere to enjoy your outdoor areas later in the day. The evening glow can still give off a fair amount of heat throughout the summer, which is perfect for enjoying from a garden room.

You could make the room a focal point of the garden, with a  stepping stone path that guides you to its door.

Feed the wildlife

Your planting options might be limited, but that doesn’t mean your garden need to lack life. For a garden that’s beautiful to look at and bursting with personality, bring in the wildlife. Bird feeders, bird tables and bird baths can all attract various species for an avid (or amateur) ornithologist. 

Alongside birds, you might see a few cheeky mammals coming to feast on the snacks. Squirrels are a common sight when you commit to feeding the birds. If you’re lucky, a hedgehog might stop by too.

Build a pond

A pond can be a beautiful feature for a garden with a lot of shade. Since sunlight isn’t a requirement for most pondlife, you could soon be the host to fish and frogs alike! Remember to add sunning rocks to the pond’s edge to encourage wildlife to make themselves at home. Try letting grass grow longer around the pond or planting shrubs to help encourage wildlife to move in. Here is a guide to building your own wildlife pond from The Wildlife Trust.