Every Garden Offers Opportunities

Hostas – just one edible for a north facing garden.

Many home buyers look for the holy grail of a sunny, south facing garden. But even when the garden is small and north facing, the space can offer plenty of exciting options. Every garden offers opportunities, no matter how problematic it may at first appear.

In permaculture, we always look at the opportunities that a site affords. What at first may seem a disadvantage can actually be turned into an advantage through the right design.

Keen gardeners will know that while a sunny site can be wonderful, and allow you to grow a wide range of plants – shade gardens can be beautiful too. I love to explore the potential of less conventionally ‘ideal’ sites, as well as the ‘perfect’ garden.

The key to making the most of a north facing, shaded garden – to give one example – involves embracing what you have. It does not pay to fight against the conditions. As in all gardens, it all comes back down to a good layout, and the right plant choices. When those two things are in place, the rest will follow.

Often, all that is required to see the potential of a garden is a little imagination. Your garden might not look like others with a more conventionally advantageous orientation. But it can still become a useful, productive and beautiful space.

Whether a garden faces north, south, east or west, placing the right plants in the right places and optimising the layout can always yield good results. So whether you are looking at new properties, or looking for the potential in your existing garden, it is important to remember that every garden offers opportunities.

If you would like me to come up with a design for a north facing garden – or any other garden which presents certain ‘challenges’, please do get in touch.

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