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26-06-2020, 12:30   #46
Glinda
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We moved last year from a house with an East facing back garden (where we'd lived for years) to one where the back faces SSW.

In the first house, the garden was fairly long, so we had set up a seating area at the end of the garden, where we got most sun. The garden near the house was in constant, deep shadow. The bit at the back got sun until about teatime in midsummer, but much earlier in winter. We used the garden fairly rarely - the trek down to the other end of garden was more offputting than you'd think and we found we never just wandered out casually. There was full sun at the front of the house from midday, but we were never the sort for sitting in the front garden (although a fair few of the neighbours set up chairs or benches outside their front doors).

By contrast, in the new garden, the seating area is directly at the back of the house and has the sun all day (until about 9pm). We put in patio doors in both the kitchen and sittingroom that open directly onto the garden, and you find yourself casually wandering out on any fine day with your tea and toast or glass of wine, a beer, a coffee etc.

I'd describe it as a very significant improvement in quality of life.

Having said that, I know people who paid a premium for a south facing garden in a new estate, only to find the house behind was so elevated that the back fence was double-height and there is no sun in their garden, ever. So check the site map for hills!
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26-06-2020, 18:13   #47
Bio Mech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glinda View Post
We moved last year from a house with an East facing back garden (where we'd lived for years) to one where the back faces SSW.

In the first house, the garden was fairly long, so we had set up a seating area at the end of the garden, where we got most sun. The garden near the house was in constant, deep shadow. The bit at the back got sun until about teatime in midsummer, but much earlier in winter. We used the garden fairly rarely - the trek down to the other end of garden was more offputting than you'd think and we found we never just wandered out casually. There was full sun at the front of the house from midday, but we were never the sort for sitting in the front garden (although a fair few of the neighbours set up chairs or benches outside their front doors).

By contrast, in the new garden, the seating area is directly at the back of the house and has the sun all day (until about 9pm). We put in patio doors in both the kitchen and sittingroom that open directly onto the garden, and you find yourself casually wandering out on any fine day with your tea and toast or glass of wine, a beer, a coffee etc.

I'd describe it as a very significant improvement in quality of life.

Having said that, I know people who paid a premium for a south facing garden in a new estate, only to find the house behind was so elevated that the back fence was double-height and there is no sun in their garden, ever. So check the site map for hills!
It's hardly possible for a house to have no sun ever is it? In summer the sun is almost directly overhead at noon.

My own garden faces north but gets much more sun than the south facing garden behind us due to us having a long garden and them having a massive tree with a protection order on it at the base of theirs .

It's really all the specifics of the house as much as the aspect. Our previous house was south facing but got much less than our current one as the gardens were small and we backed onto a three storey row.

Our current garden will get sun on the patio until about 8.30 this evening as the fences are low and there are no obstructions to the west

Last edited by Bio Mech; 26-06-2020 at 18:17.
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26-06-2020, 23:30   #48
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Wouldn't it be great if we had 2 suns...
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30-06-2020, 07:53   #49
GreeBo
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Originally Posted by Bio Mech View Post
It's hardly possible for a house to have no sun ever is it? In summer the sun is almost directly overhead at noon.

My own garden faces north but gets much more sun than the south facing garden behind us due to us having a long garden and them having a massive tree with a protection order on it at the base of theirs .

It's really all the specifics of the house as much as the aspect. Our previous house was south facing but got much less than our current one as the gardens were small and we backed onto a three storey row.

Our current garden will get sun on the patio until about 8.30 this evening as the fences are low and there are no obstructions to the west
My family house has no sun hitting the back ever. Sure, in mid summer the garden gets sun, but the back of the house never does. The sun never comes in a rear window and the house is dark and cold because of it.
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30-06-2020, 10:14   #50
Eric Cartman
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I find it depends on the kind of people you are.

if flower beds are your thing south/south east all day long.

But if youre more bbq and evening drinks types its west/south west is the real winner and you can save some money as more people will pay for south.
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30-06-2020, 10:35   #51
crumble_15
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Lived in North facing house and it really bothered me how little natural light came into back of house. Garden was big so could sit at bottom of garden, so that was OK.

Live in a SW facing house now. Garden is tiny but the light coming into house now is great and makes such a difference.
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30-06-2020, 14:03   #52
JimmyVik
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Originally Posted by Dylan94 View Post
I'm in the process of searching for a house and had been set all along on a house with a South Facing back garden. Our current house has a south facing garden and we have the sun all day long. We don't work traditional 9-5 jobs and would spend a lot of time in the garden.

I've been told that a North Facing garden will get no sun unless its very long, how true is this? We found a house that would be perfect except it has a North facing garden. Its a semi d so we will have houses either side.

So how important is aspect for getting some sun out the back?

MY parents used to have a bungalow and a north facing garden.
In the summer the shadow of the roof of the house comes out about 1 meter from the house. We actually fought over sitting in that shade on sunny days as there was not much shade to be had.
In the depths of winter the shadow of the tip of the roof was about 7 or 8 meters long. We never sat in the garden from October to March anyway. Its Ireland. Its always cold and wet, sun or no sun.

And there was plenty of sun in the garden from March to October anyway.
Now they live in a house that has a south facing garden. Its just too sunny.



Gardens need light and they need shade.
This attraction of a south facing garden is over rated.
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30-06-2020, 15:42   #53
Yellow_Fern
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Originally Posted by awec View Post
With most houses in developments having the majority of their windows on the front and back, rather than the sides, it really makes no difference in terms of the house overheating between a north or south aspect.

Either the front of the house will be hot or the back. I wouldn't dismiss south facing cause you're worried about the back being hot, if you go north facing the front will be hot and vice versa.

The biggest drawbacks, as someone with a north facing garden, are:

1. No sun for the first ~10 feet outside the back door, but sun all day in the rest of the garden. Really it means you can't have your outdoor table right outside the back door.
2. Glare on the TV as the sitting room at the front of the house is super-bright.
3. Our bedroom is at the front of the house, so it gets warmed up all day.
That isnt true. People may leave their front windows obscured with curtains but not the back. A lot varies from house to house. Having sun hitting the back of the garden is great for people who want to wall train fruit trees
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30-06-2020, 16:01   #54
GreeBo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyVik View Post
MY parents used to have a bungalow and a north facing garden.
In the summer the shadow of the roof of the house comes out about 1 meter from the house. We actually fought over sitting in that shade on sunny days as there was not much shade to be had.
In the depths of winter the shadow of the tip of the roof was about 7 or 8 meters long. We never sat in the garden from October to March anyway. Its Ireland. Its always cold and wet, sun or no sun.

And there was plenty of sun in the garden from March to October anyway.
Now they live in a house that has a south facing garden. Its just too sunny.



Gardens need light and they need shade.
This attraction of a south facing garden is over rated.
Using a bungalow to prove a point about shade is pretty disingenuous, the tent I live in suffers no issue with shade either!

Also you cant equate shade and sunlight, shade is trivial to make, sun is not.

Finally, Ireland is not cold and wet from October to March, perhaps this is your opinion due to living with a north facing garden?

Personally I was working away in my garden all through that period and it would have been a very different experience were it not for the sunny aspect. This March I spent most days in shorts in the garden.

If you are too sunny, get an umbrella!
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30-06-2020, 17:39   #55
JimmyVik
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Originally Posted by GreeBo View Post
Using a bungalow to prove a point about shade is pretty disingenuous, the tent I live in suffers no issue with shade either!

Also you cant equate shade and sunlight, shade is trivial to make, sun is not.

Finally, Ireland is not cold and wet from October to March, perhaps this is your opinion due to living with a north facing garden?

Personally I was working away in my garden all through that period and it would have been a very different experience were it not for the sunny aspect. This March I spent most days in shorts in the garden.

If you are too sunny, get an umbrella!

Its not an attack on you.
Just my own experience. North facing gardens are grand. If you have one, dont worry about it.
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30-06-2020, 17:42   #56
GreeBo
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Its not an attack on you.
Just my own experience. North facing gardens are grand. If you have one, dont worry about it.

I didn't take it as an attack!
I'm merely pointing out that a north facing garden behind a bungalow is a very different scenario to a 2 storey semi-d when it comes to light and shade.
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01-07-2020, 08:14   #57
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By north facing garden, you mean , when standing at the house? Because obviously standing at the garden wall, it's south facing, right? Every house and garden I had, I've had a lovely south-facing garden wall that gets baked, so I pop the table and chairs there, and surround it with plants who love it, but the back wall of the house itself is north facing. In small gardens, you're only talking about taking a few steps here... it's not going to kill you.

To me, for light, all that matters are the boundaries. If you have huge towering buildings, or leylandii, you'll struggle. I took a huge hedge down in one house to make sure we had that light in the garden and house.

And also, I will say that shade and woodland gardens are a gorgeous type of garden. I know the typical garden here is a square of bleached grass with a tiny border of drought suffering plants around it, so if that's what you want.... but a lush garden full of ferns, astrantias, solomon' seal, nodding snowdrops, fragrant daphnes etc, who all love shade, is absolutely beautiful. Nature is pretty adaptive, if you try a woodland garden or japanese garden if you have both shelter and shade, and put the right plants in the right place, it will be fab.
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01-07-2020, 23:04   #58
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It all depends on the house, what's surrounding the garden, and realistically how much time you will spend in the garden.

We bought a house in a new development last year and the Estate Agent was really trying to sell us on the houses with S and SW facing gardens up the front of the estate. All of those S/SW houses had houses backed onto the rear of them so that the gardens were overlooked by several houses. I think he was trying to sell them up before anybody copped what a bad choice they were!

We chose from a semi-d at the back end of the estate (same price) which backs onto a smallholding beside a private house i.e. nobody looks into our house/garden (apart from our attached neighbour).

The sun comes up to the back door in the morning until about midday, and only from then the house begins to cast a shadow. We have our patio at the bottom right corner of the garden, which gets the sun until 7.30pm.

Our kitchen/living area at the back of the house has large windows and a skylight, so it is bright regardless of direct sunlight later in the day.

The sitting room at the front of the house gets blasted with heat from the afternoon onwards, but as we only use it in the evenings, it's nice and toasty when we do move in there!

It's all about perspectives. Try visit the house at different times of the day to have a look at the garden. You might be pleasantly surprised.
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01-07-2020, 23:53   #59
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We chose from a semi-d at the back end of the estate (same price) which backs onto a smallholding beside a private house i.e. nobody looks into our house/garden (apart from our attached neighbour).
What direction did the garden face on the house you chose?
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06-07-2020, 22:49   #60
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What are peoples views on East (slightly NE) facing garden. House ticks a lots of boxes but worries about this one. We would hope to do an extension to the kitchen dining to bring it out further into the garden. Would this create further shadow? From what we have seen the back of the garden is getting some sun in the evening as well as a sliver up the left hand side as there is no house immediately to the left of the house. We would just be worried that the extension would not get any sun through it in afternoon evening and make it full but would skylights improve this?
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