South facing garden
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What is a South Facing Garden and how do I know if my garden is south facing?

You’ve probably heard the term ‘south-facing garden’ before.

You may have seen the term on an estate agent’s marketing material, too, or you may have been constantly told a property you’re looking to buy has a south facing garden.

But what’s all the fuss about south facing gardens?

This guide explains everything you need to know…

What does south facing garden mean?

A south facing garden faces mainly to the south, with gardens that face the south west and south east also considered south facing.

What is the best direction for a garden to face?

The best direction for your garden to face depends on when you like to enjoy the sun.

A south facing garden will get sunshine all day, while a west facing garden gets good sunshine in the evening and an easterly garden gets it in the morning.

A north facing garden will get some sun in both the morning and evening, while sunshine during the day may be confined to the garden’s rear, away from your property.

Is a south facing garden good?

The demand for properties with south facing gardens is high because they get sunshine all day.

But there are pros and cons to living in a home with a garden that faces south:

The pros of a south facing garden

  • A warmer garden compared with those facing in other directions
  • It’s easier to grow and maintain plants in a south facing garden
  • Clothes will dry quicker on the washing line
  • Patios, decking and hard standing areas are less prone to moss and algae
  • Rooms in your home that face south can feel warmer

The cons of a south facing garden

  • South facing gardens can get unbearably hot in summer
  • Outdoor furniture and decking can become bleached by the sun
  • The other side of your property will face north, meaning it can feel cold
  • Furniture in rooms that face south can fade due to the sun

So, is it better to have a south-facing garden?

Whether or not a south-facing garden is better is largely down to your needs when it comes to outdoor space.

If you like sunbathing and you’re a green-fingered gardener, a south-facing garden may be best for you.

But if you don’t like intense heat during the summer, a west or east facing garden may be better, depending on whether you prefer morning or evening sun.

When you come to sell your home, however, there’s no doubt that a south-facing garden is better in the eyes of many buyers and having one can put a premium on the value of your home.

What are the best plants for a south-facing garden?

The best plants for a south-facing garden are ones that like sunshine but can also withstand intense heat during the summer.

Here are some great options for plants in a south-facing garden:

  • Sedums: These love sunshine and should be planted in a southerly garden to avoid them becoming ‘limp’
  • Chamomile: With a look that screams ‘huge daisy’ Chamomile is pretty and aromatic, but also thrives in heat
  • Euphorbia characias: Euphorbias can generally be grown well in full sunshine and are a statuesque addition to a garden
  • Cotton lavender: This plant hails from the Mediterranean, so is used to intense sunshine and perfectly suited to a south-facing garden

How do I know if my garden is south facing?

The easiest way to tell if your garden is south facing is to stand in it, facing to the rear and use a compass or app on your phone.

If the compass says ‘south’, your garden is south facing.

Alternatively, if you want to know what direction a garden faces at a house you’re keen to buy, you can find out on Google Maps.

  • Type in the address of the property on Google and select ‘Maps’
  • Select ‘Satellite’ view
  • On the bottom right of the screen, there is a compass, with the red section pointing north and white section pointing south
  • Hold down ‘CTRL’ and spin the map so you’re looking at the front of the house
  • If the white section of the compass is on top, the garden is south facing

Do south facing gardens get evening sun?

South facing gardens get sunlight all day, including in the evening.

In a south facing garden, the sun will rise to the left and set to the right, meaning the evening sunlight will be on the right of your garden.

How many hours of sun do south facing gardens get?

A south facing garden could get as much as 16 hours of light during the UK summer.

The longest day of the year sees the sun rise at 4.43am and set at 9.21am, with a south facing garden soaking up that sunshine all day.

Are south facing gardens worth more?

If you’re lucky enough to have a south facing garden, you could be looking at an additional £22,000 on the value of your home, according to research by Rightmove.

According to the property portal, homes with a south-facing garden are, on average, priced £22,000 higher than homes without, while properties with south-facing gardens in Yorkshire & The Humber command a huge 14% price increase, on average, against those without.

Those properties also sell, on average, two days faster than homes with non-south-facing gardens.

Further reading…

Great ideas for your front garden

How to clean your garden furniture

Five ways to add value to your rental property

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