North facing garden design in dorset poole and hampshire


Whether you are located on the coast in Poole or in the heart of Hampshire, there may be a chance that your garden isn’t southerly or westerly facing. If you have a Northern or East facing garden, you can still introduce interesting planting species to your space and create an exciting garden.

One of the important things to consider is whether the lawn stays or goes? This all depends on size, scale, and proportion of the existing space. If the garden is on the larger then the removal of the lawn is going to have a bigger impact than if the space is small.

With more and more people opting to remove their lawns, especially within smaller gardens should not be seen as a bad thing. It is a great way to expand your garden and make it feel larger than it is. This is achieved by bringing the planting in from the edges and into the heart of the garden.

As the garden is in the shade, and sunlight is going to be an issue, you need to think about how you are going to brighten up the desired space. There are a couple of hacks that you can use to get the most out of the north facing garden and increase the light.

When you have completed your site analysis and are starting to put pencil to paper, you should be considering the aspect and orientation of the space. With the garden being situated North, you should design the space with the sun in mind. Don’t be afraid to turn the garden on its head. Typically, you will have the seating / dining area straight out from the rear doors. When it comes to a North facing shady garden, design your lounging areas around where most of the sunlight hits in the space. This will ensure that those spaces become usable.

The usage and plant specifications are going to be vital and choosing the wrong species could have a catastrophic effect on the longevity of the scheme. Try and select a planting palette that consists of mostly yellows and whites as by selecting brighter flowering plants it will help naturally illuminate the surrounding spaces. If you select supporting plants that possess great foliage and texture, this will ensure that the flowering plants stand out further.

Trees can still be used within this style of scheme; you just must be careful. They are a great way to add height, structure as well as theatre to a space especially when lit up at night. Carefully position the trees in a way that they won’t add extra shade to the desired seating areas.

Another, natural way to increase light into the space is through water. Positioning of a water feature within the design will help reflect the illusion of light into the garden.

The obvious route to go down to brighten up the space is lighting. The key to this is subtly place the lighting around the garden highlighting key features and paving areas to allow you to use the garden throughout all times of the day.

Materials need to be looked at in detail. As there is a potential that the proposed paving is not going to get that much sunlight during the day, ensuring that it is nonslip is going to be ideal. You can use the paving to bring in extra light, specifying brighter coloured porcelain for example will lift the light from the ground up. However, another route you can go down is using sett paving. This will increase the interest and texture in the area and if used in the right way can make the garden feel longer as well as wider. You can even have creeping plants grow in between the cracks if you are wanting to achieve a more naturalistic style garden.

When it comes to the garden’s boundaries, there are two options that will both affect the feel of the garden. Planting a green, evergreen climber along the boundaries is a brilliant way to disguise the edges as well as ensuring that the colours within the garden pop. Adding planting up the boundaries also gives off the sense that the garden is bigger than it is. The other is to paint. Choose dark colours such as black or darker shades of green. This may sound odd considering that you do not want to bring more darkness to the space but in fact painting the fence or boundaries these colours, and planting in front will help disguise and hide the fence and make the space feel bigger. This is always down to you, the client as it is a personal preference and remember to speak to your neighbours before painting!

Accessories make or break a garden; they are the last detail that goes into the space. In a north facing shady garden, the choice of accessories will have a huge impact on the garden. Bright coloured furniture, soft furnishings will add that glimpse of light into the desired space. Even more so when it is up against the deep green foliage and chosen furniture.